By David Saunders, Health Editor
UK sports coaches are losing more than £9,000 per year due to clients cancelling their pre-booked coaching sessions, according to new research. The figures equate to a loss of £239million for the coaching industry as a whole.
Clients’ top three excuses for failing to attend a pre-booked session include tiredness (62%), lack of motivation (59%) and forgetting other commitments (52%); according to the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ report, conducted by booking management platform, fibodo.
The research reveals the serious financial implications and wider issues that no-shows have for coaching professionals. With lost earnings of more than £9,000 annually, many find themselves struggling to make ends meet, with their only option being to leave the profession altogether, despite their time and effort spent training.
This is supported by the research identifying that more than a quarter (27%) of sports coaches worry whether their business will last more than a few years.
On average, coaches report five no-shows or last-minute cancellations every week. A fifth are even let down 6-8 times per week by clients who had committed to a session. It is unsurprising then that a huge 58% of sports coaches believe this is having a negative effect on their business.
Statistics show that sports club membership continues to increase year-on-year, with one-to-one or group coaching an increasingly popular option. But the figures highlight a discrepancy between the number of sign-ups and those actively engaged – something which may be negatively impacting public health, as well as coaches’ pay packets.
Anthony Franklin, CEO and founder of fibodo, commented: “These cancellations are crippling for coaching professionals whose livelihoods rely on clients attending their pre-booked sessions. People wouldn’t expect to book a holiday without pre-paying so it shouldn’t be any different for people wanting to book coaches’ time.
“We regularly speak with coaches who have reduced no-shows by using fibodo
which ensures clients pre-pay for sessions. Not only does this reduce wasted time and lost money for coaches, but can reverse the trend of professionals leaving the career they love and help the UK get the most from sports and activities.”
The Top 10 most-common excuses Brits use to cancel a session with a coach
1: I was tired
2: I just didn’t have motivation
3: I forgot that I had other commitments
4: I was going with my friend / family member and they cancelled so I did, too
5: I got a better offer
6: I was injured or unwell
7: I wanted to stay in
8: I didn’t want to get sweaty
9: I forgot my kit
10: I worried it would be too difficult
Jonathan Lamb, 53, has been a golf pro for over 30 years, now based at Tehidy Park Golf Club, Cornwall. He offers one-to-one lessons as well as running group sessions and charges clients on an hourly basis.
He says: “Previously, around one in three client bookings would result in a late cancellation or no-show, customers would bail out with a weak excuse – or not even show up at all.
“It’s frustrating, both for myself and the genuine customers that weren’t able to book due to me showing no availability, which obviously also hurts me financially. People didn’t fully understand that our livelihoods rely on the sessions we deliver.
“The excuses were different every time; their car wouldn’t start, they had a dental appointment, or they were simply stuck at work.
“I realised something had to change or I was never going to make my time profitable. I’ve been using a booking management tool – fibodo, and when bookings are made payment is taken. This has meant that the number of no-shows has reduced dramatically, I can organise my days more efficiently and I can put more money away each day.”
Read the Survival of the Fittest report here.