Smart Money Moves for Sports Coaches Who Want Financial Stability

Smart Money Moves for Sports Coaches Who Want Financial Stability

June 22, 20244 min read

“Our contracts, bonuses, and incentives are often tied directly to team performance, which means that financial instability can become a constant companion, especially during off-seasons or after contract terminations.” - Julia Allender

As a coach, you put incredible dedication and hard work into your career. But are you struggling financially despite these impressive achievements on the so many sports pros?

The thrill of victory is unparalleled, but with every losing season comes the reality of income variability. Our contracts, bonuses, and incentives are often tied directly to team performance, which means that financial instability can become a constant companion, especially during off-seasons or after contract terminations.

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When I was a head coach at both Ohlone College and Sacramento City College I never worried about my income when we won but when my team performance suffered, so did the security of my paycheck.

So this week, on Fierce Feminine Finance, I’ll share my insights and strategies for managing these fluctuations to ensure long-term financial stability. Let's dive into some practical steps that can help you maintain financial health throughout your coaching career.

college sports coach

How to Deal With Income Variability As A Coach

Income variability is a common issue in our profession. Unlike a regular 9-to-5 job, where you can count on a steady paycheck, coaching comes with peaks and valleys. Your income might skyrocket during a successful season but take a nosedive if things don't go as planned.

Step 1: Create a Detailed Financial Plan

I don't like to use the word budget but I do think it is very important to have a detailed weekly and monthly plan. Track your income and expenses meticulously. Understanding where your money comes from and where it goes is crucial.

  1. List Your Income Sources: Include your base salary, bonuses, incentives, and any other sources of income.

  2. Track Your Expenses: Categorize your expenses into fixed (rent, utilities) and variable (entertainment, dining out).

Step 2: Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund acts as a financial buffer during lean periods. Aim to save at least three to six months' worth of living expenses. This fund will provide peace of mind and financial stability when your income fluctuates.

Step 3: Diversify Your Income Streams

Relying solely on your coaching salary can be risky. Diversify your income by exploring additional revenue streams. Consider options such as:

  • Speaking Engagements: Share your expertise at conferences and seminars.

  • Writing: Author a book or write articles for sports magazines and websites.

  • Consulting: Offer your coaching services on a consultancy basis.

All of these are examples of ways to leverage your intellectual property (a category of property that includes any work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript, trade secret, or design, to which one has rights and for which one can apply for a patent, copyright or trademark) to create passive income!

female coach with her team

Step 4: Plan for the Off-Season

If you are paid on a nine month salary schedule the off-season can be particularly challenging financially. Plan ahead by setting aside a portion of your in-season income to cover off-season expenses. This proactive approach ensures that you remain financially stable even when you're not actively coaching.

Step 5: Invest Wisely

Investing can help grow your wealth over time. However, it's crucial to make informed decisions. Consider working with a financial advisor who understands the unique challenges of coaching. They can help you build a diversified investment portfolio tailored to your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Step 6: Protect Your Income with Insurance

Insurance is an essential part of financial planning. Disability insurance, in particular, can protect your income if you're unable to work due to injury or illness. Additionally, consider life insurance to secure your family's financial future.

Step 7: Keep Learning and Adapting

The financial landscape is constantly changing, and staying informed is crucial. Regularly update your financial literacy and knowledge specific to your career and adapt your strategies accordingly. Attend financial planning workshops, read books, and consult with experts to stay ahead of the curve.

In Summary

Income variability is an inherent part of coaching, but with effective financial planning and budgeting, you can achieve long-term stability. Using this checklist, you can navigate the financial ups and downs with confidence:

  • Create a financial plan

  • Build an emergency fund

  • Diversify your income

  • Plan for the off-season

  • Invest wisely

  • Protect your income with insurance

  • Be a student of finance by continuously learning

Remember, financial stability isn't just about managing your money; it's about empowering yourself to focus on what you do best—coaching. With the right strategies in place, you can ensure that financial instability doesn't overshadow your success on and off the field.

By following these steps, you can turn the challenge of income variability into an opportunity for financial growth and security. Let's face the financial game head-on and come out victorious!

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Julia Allender

Julia is a financial coach who specializes in helping athletes, coaches, and sports professionals to achieve financial literacy and freedom. Her unique insight, gained from over 15 years of coaching women's college basketball—where she led teams to numerous victories and helped hundreds of athletes achieve their personal and athletic goals—has enabled a successful transition to becoming a financial coach. Her approach combines a passion for helping others with a deep understanding of finance, ensuring every client receives the coaching they need to thrive.

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