This has been a thing in The Bahamas but worldwide, we see competitors work their hardest to avoid getting a coach. Now, we know that having a coach means commitment...exactly, you have to be committed for pageantry. I think what has to be understood is that when you're training, it's not to just be the best locally but also internationally and that takes knowing more than you did yesterday.
The Bahamas is pretty small but when we look at coaching businesses around the world, we see that aspiring contestants train in groups or have the same coach and train separately. Note, that there is nothing wrong with that. We also know that there are coaches who charge contestants "an arm and a leg", and they in the end still feel unprepared.
No one became a star without a price, I guess.
However, I've heard some unfortunate stories and that can be the beginning of a bitter dip into pageantry and we don't want that. Here are some things though, that your pageant coach should possess in order to be the right one for you. Some aspects are universal whereas one or two may fit pretty well for smaller states and countries.
Hold on...one minute...I know that you're expecting me to say style and some other superficial traits. Yeah, those too but what I'm about to list below will make or break your journey to the crown. Proceed.
Integrity. One of the most important attributes in the world of pageantry. There's already enough opportunity to be dishonest with yourself and with the pageant system you've joined etc. So...the one person that you'll be entrusting your money, time and effort should be the most honest person in the room. This should range from your progress as a contestant to their work ethics. What you pay for is essentially what you get, so if you've paid for the best from your coach, there's no reason for you to receive half of that especially, if they may be working with other contestants. Once again, them working with other contestants is fine, as long as it's not some big secret (pertaining to smaller countries not familiar with a particular system). I mean, why should it be?
A business will have clients and it would be naive to think that you would be the only person seeking coaching. BUT it is your coach's duty to be transparent and sometimes, there's no need, if they're obviously one of the best. It's understandable.
Knowledge. Listen, you can have several specialty coaches. Specialty coaches may have direct knowledge about different aspects of pageant and personal development skills. For example, runway and onstage performance, mental preparation, talent, judges interview, wardrobe and styling, media training and so on. However, choosing a coach to assist you with judges interview when their forte is really wardrobe and styling will hurt your chances more than ever. Too many times have I seen contestants with great potential fall short in some of the most important categories of a pageant because they weren't well equipped and lost consistency in their run for the crown.
And stop waving during your performances please...
Experience. This is a no brainer. We hear it all the time in job interviews, "What kind of experience do you have?". Treat your potential coach in that same regard or as the kids these day say, "with that same energy". What do their past and current clients have to say about them? What is their track record? If they are new to the game, do you believe in their capabilities? Choosing a professional critic just won't cut it, especially with a goal in mind to be the best. Also, we love pageant moms but sometimes, they won't know everything. Keeping it in the family may not be the best idea because experts usually have the eye for the stage.
Perspective. A coach who is well rounded is a plus. They can see the competition from various angles. Being a coach who has competed, won, judged or simply have the credentials or one of the four is great! They can share real-life stories and offer simulations for your consideration. Your coach's method may be different from another, but that's never a reason to cross another coach...
They also require perspective that will help to make you better and not bitter. There's absolutely no reason to bring down another contestant or even a winner of a pageant that you may have competed with. It's okay to have a difference in opinion or feel that a pageant might have been unfair (those do exist), however, there are lessons to be learned. A pageant coach that puts down other contestants or rivals unhealthily will have you leaving the pageant as a hater when you were meant to edify and empower.
Don't forget about sisterhood, sis.
Passion. Choose a pageant coach who loves what they do. They'll be more than easy to work with and will offer the best criticism. They'll pour into you and hopefully leave a great memory of your journey on you. They should care about your journey and should absolutely ask you about it each step of the way and offer reassurance. Purpose drives passion and vice versa, so a great coach who is passionate will always call for the best in you even when you do not like it. Passion means 100% in purpose and presentation.
Me, every time I see my clients on stage. The growth.The confidence.The energy. Whew.
Overall, I implore you to sincerely choose your pageant coach and get in the habit of preparation beforehand. There are great coaches that can be found online and in your area. Annddd, I don't want to brag but The Bahamas does have some heavy hitters. It all depends on client-coach chemistry so weigh it out.