Nikki Callon is no stranger to the health and fitness lifestyle. Her seasoned resume filled with professional and collegiate basketball player speaks for itself, not to mention both of her parents played professional sports as well.
Over the last decade, Nikki has played the role of a personal trainer, Pure Barre coach, collegiate athlete mentor, group fitness instructor, and the occasional tennis tyrant. Throughout all of it, she’s always known that coaching was a way for her to stay connected to her athletic roots while helping others find their best version of personal health.
Her story started in Georgia where she dominated high school basketball, then transitioned to Tulane for a successful collegiate career that propelled her to the starting lineup of the British National Basketball team.
Fast forward 3 years and she found herself behind the desk of a sports marketing firm, craving the days she used to fill with athletic activities. This led to her Pure Barre—the challenging and elegant dance between training and technique.
With some encouragement from a few classmates, she jumped from participant to instructor, running multiple classes a week, filled to the brim with eager participants.
During this time, her days would look something like this—wake up at 7 am, go to her regular day job, then run multiple barre classes back-to-back until she closed up shop and went home at 8 pm—talk about no time.
Tired of the hectic back and forth she started her company, NL3 Training in 2015, with the goal of making it full-time in the personal trainer space.
The coaching come up…
Nikki’s first clients came in the form of high school and college athletes—those looking to follow some of the steps that she herself took years prior. Once she and her husband moved to Texas, her in-person training program had to transition to a digital format. This began the start of her online coaching hustle.
As her business grew and developed, she began to work with more women who were eager to get fit and take back control of their health, instead of making it on a professional sports team. Here, she thrived in helping those women rediscover what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle and as a result, her client lists expanded far beyond her Georgia suburbs.
Things were running smoothly until 2020 rolled around and COVID started wiping out all gym attendance, leaving her clients with no place to turn but the wild and untamed internet.
She quickly adapted her business, running multiple Facebook groups where clients could engage with one another, view workouts, and chat with her about their progress.
“I started running a few groups on Facebook, which was good, but I knew it could be better…I was writing emails, managing multiple groups, creating workouts, and it was all being done in different places. Not to mention I’m a paper and pencil kind of girl, so I had tons of paper all around the house with random client notes and information.”
With a client list that was craving her attention and a company that needed better systems in place, she set out to find the best solution to bolster her business without adding overhead.
In comes group training…
Nikki knew an app was in her future, but she wasn’t sure what kind. She spent time researching different platforms and services, trying to piece together what would work best with the foundation she had already set, but nothing seemed to fit.
After stumbling into another SPRNG coach on Instagram, she was turned to the platform that gives coaches their own custom app. She scheduled a demo, walked through the details, and was captured immediately.
“I wasn’t expecting much initially, but once I got on a call with the SPRNG team, I was shocked that it checked all of the boxes I needed—so I jumped right in!”
This was right before the New Year, and she was eager to have her program ready for those “new year, new me” clients.
As the New Year took off, Nikki launched her app in January of 2021 and immediately saw a positive reaction from her client base.
“People want to feel like they are part of something when they’re in a program. They want to know that it’s not just them, but everyone is part of it, part of the community—the app has helped a lot with creating that community of clients.”
Since launching her program, Nikki has been able to step back from the mundane and arduous admin tasks and dive deeper into her clients, who have reaped the benefits immensely. Between her NL3 Shred Program, customized 1-on-1 Fitness Coaching and 1-1 Macros Nutrition Coaching, as well as multiple other online fitness programs, Nikki pretty much does it all, without having to miss a moment with the most important people in her life—her boys and husband.
If you’re looking for a taste of what Nikki does, I’d encourage you to head over to her site and check out everything she’s got going on—you’re bound to find the perfect program for your needs.
Nikki Answers Your Questions:
When did you realize you wanted to make coaching a full-time job?
“I’ve always been around athletics and fitness my whole life, but when I started teaching Pure Barre and trained a few clients before and after my “full time job”, I knew that this was something I wanted to do and was passionate about.”
What is the most rewarding part of coaching?
“Seeing the lightbulb go off for my clients is such a good feeling. I have clients all over the spectrum with different goals, so being able to see them and help them get where they want to be, whatever the goal is, there’s nothing better.”
What is the most challenging part of “online” coaching?
“Balancing home and work life. As a mom with two young children not in school every day, and dad working from home, it tends to land as mom’s responsibility to make sure they are taken care of, so I’ve slowly learned how to manage being mom and business owner, but I always try to put my boys first. I like to work efficiently and effectively but I realized that I needed to step back and not put such tough expectations on myself—and my clients totally get it! They’re moms too! I learned to set expectations up front for everyone so we are all on the same page and this has helped tremendously.”
What is one piece of advice you’d give other coaches?
“The fitness industry is such a broad industry, it has so many layers, so it’s important to find who you want to work with, what is going to be your niche, and go from there! With that being said, your niche may change in 3-5 years, I know mine has, but don’t try to spread yourself too thin, rather focus on your bread and butter.”