When I started competing, it was just assumed that you were coached by the local director who you happened to win a title for. You worked with them because, obviously, they were tuned into pageants and the system they're working with. If you were more competitive, you could choose who you wanted to work with because you went into that local with a solid chance of winning.
However, especially when you are just starting out, you are just trying to get a ticket to the state level. You don't necessarily have a choice as to who your local director is or who you get to work with if that’s your only method of preparing for the competition. It’s also important to note that in most organizations, these directors are volunteers, so it's not a full-time job, and you're not paying them to give you their best advice or their time, so it's really out of the goodness of their hearts and the time that they have available to coach you.
During my journey, I had a couple of incredible local directors who helped guide me in so many different ways. Ultimately, the local director whose personality I clicked with the most was Juven, who is now my business partner, obviously for a good reason! He was my local director during my second, fifth, and seventh years of competing. He really transformed the way I thought of a pageant director by how he worked with me and structured my preparation for the state level.
Going back a few years, the first coach I ever worked with was my vocal coach. It's normal to pay a vocal coach or dance instructor to help elevate your performance and choreography, so I did that. Then I got into a space of speed painting, and there wasn't a coach I could work with because there are so few people in that field. The same thing goes for pageants, especially in the Midwest. So few people have expertise in coaching pageants in all phases of competition and preparation to get ready for the stage.
That’s where Crown the Nation and Beyond the Crown come in, in terms of life coaching and getting mentally ready for the stage and beyond. There are a lot of pivotal moments where you realize that you are, in fact, not the expert, or you don't have an expert in your field or somebody who knows at least a little about it. It's the next logical step to find and hire someone to assist you in those areas to invest in yourself to become the best person for what you’re working towards becoming.
Finding a coach looks different for different goals as well. If your goal is to win the State title, I would do everything that I could to surround myself with the right people to put me in the best possible position to win that title. There are other goals that break down within that. I always used to think, “At the end of the day, I am the one who was doing the work,” so I'm going to make sure that the people I surround myself with to support that work - my community, mentors, and coaches - are people who know what they're doing.
Here are some commonly asked questions I get when talking with people about hiring a coach for their pageant journey!
What are some signs that I might need a coach?
I always think of the quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Now, I don't want to call anybody insane, but I think a huge sign that you might need a coach is if you have tried the same thing over and over again and you're not placing, and you're not getting good feedback, and you don't feel like you are matching the level of caliber of the women that you're competing against. We say, “different judges, different day, different winner.” Still, sometimes it might just be time to level with yourself and invite somebody into your space to give you a critique and also tools to level up your competition if your goal is to be successful in this arena.
What was your experience like having a coach?
Here’s the thing, if you are going to pay somebody to help you do the best you can be, you also need to be in the mindset to accept criticism, critique, and honest feedback so that you can level up your game, your competition, and your life. I am always shocked when people pay money to somebody and then don't do the work. When competing, I know if I don't do the work, that's on me. Your experience is going to be based on the work that you do and what you put into it. But my experience working with a coach (in my case, it was Juven who is now my business partner), it was incredibly beneficial to have someone to keep me accountable, challenge me, and provide me guidance and direction in the areas in that I was not fluent. I was able to learn how to then turn around and provide that for other people. Having a coach was having someone in my corner with my best interests at heart who could give me that honesty when I needed it and support me when I needed it.
Why should I hire a coach with previous experience?
I mean, I think hiring a coach with experience is huge! You wouldn't hire somebody who's never won a basketball game to teach you how to play basketball. That's not to say that you have to win the pageant to have relevant experience, but with what we do for Crown the Nation, we have had National Winners, State Winters, awards, and recognition throughout all of the different elements of competition from talent to paperwork to community service to service essays and top scores in interview, so I’d like to think we know what works ;) . It is essential to have somebody well-versed and experienced in a variety of areas that it takes to be successful in a pageant. That’s what sets Crown the Nation apart - we are well versed in all areas, so that allows us to give that wrap-around experience that touches every area of competition and gives you a cohesive brand from the interview room, to the stage, to the communities that you're serving. We pride ourselves on the fact that we can offer that full-service package to elevate every piece of your competition and your life to the caliber you're looking for.
How do I start working with you as my coach?
Crown the Nation is built to coach you for the stage. We provide customized services, a la carte services, consultations on just paperwork, interview, or talent consultation, and then we have bundles as well. But I think where we really shine is our all-inclusive “There She Is” package that's for the competitor who wants everything and is really in it to win it! They receive all our available packages, including some that are not available as individual packages, and comprehensive support throughout preparing for your competition.
Now, Beyond the Crown is created to holistically support women throughout their journey in pageantry and beyond. It can be for the seasoned competitor or the new competitor who is still maneuvering the complexities of the pageant world in the competition space. It's for people who want to find purpose beyond just winning the crown. It’s the mindset, life coaching, and space outside of the competition that still needs to be supported and guided through a high-caliber, high-performing lens that I think many of us girls have in common.
So, ultimately, we do it all, to the crown and beyond! If you don't see something on the Crown the Nation or Beyond the Crown pages that are in line with what you're looking for, we do customized experiences so that we can make anything possible or available!
If you’re looking for a sign to hire a coach, this is it! ;)