Coaching for Victory: The Parallel Playbooks of Soccer and Financial Planning

By Zach Whitchurch
President | Wealth Advisor
Certified Private Wealth Advisor®

Whether on the pitch or inside a financial portfolio, soccer coaches and wealth advisors have the same basic objective: give people the skills, training, and tools they need to become the best versions of themselves. With years of experience in soccer coaching under my belt, I’ve noticed a striking parallel between the roles of a wealth manager and that of a soccer coach. Much like how a coach guides their players through strategies, training, and game-time decisions, wealth managers play a crucial role in navigating their clients through the complexities of financial planning and investment strategies. 

I’ve been coaching soccer for as long as I’ve been working in finance, and the more I’ve learned about how to coach—what it means and what it takes to be one—the more I’ve learned about how to guide clients to greater success in their financial lives. I apply that passion to our clients at Solidarity Wealth.

My Backstory

I played soccer as a youth from a very young age. When I graduated high school, I was given the opportunity by my soccer coach to coach the incoming freshman soccer team. Having played for so many years, I thought I would understand how to be a good coach because I had played the game for so long. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I knew how to play the game, but I soon realized that mastering the game and effectively teaching others both technical skills and strategic teamwork required a completely different skill set. In that coaching growth process, I tried to make up for my lack of ability as a coach by making sure we had the most in-shape team there could be. This meant we ran a lot!

The players I had that year were amazing! Technically gifted and willing to work hard, they knew how to position themselves on the field and were a good team. But individually they were not thinking about the strategy of the team as a whole. 

Each player came in at different talent levels, fitness levels, and mindsets they’d had their entire lives—whether from themselves or from their sphere that surrounds them. I quickly began to understand that good coaching requires you to work down to the individual player—to understand how to motivate someone, understand their capabilities, and teach them very complex things in such a simple way that even a young person could understand. Once you identify what they excel at and what needs work, you can start tailoring your message to find success as a team.

With this realization, coaching became a lot harder. But it only made me more driven.

It Comes Down to Communication

Although there may be some commonalities between players’ skills and concepts, every single player I have coached is different. As I studied coaching more diligently, I started to understand that it’s about taking into consideration the above factors and communicating concepts, technical information, and team strategy in a way that makes sense to each player individually. 

Here’s what I’ve learned on the pitch that applies to helping someone with their finances:


Like a soccer coach, a wealth advisor has the opportunity to create a financial plan (game plan) for clients. As time progresses, as you would see in a game, adjustments are made constantly throughout clients’ lifetimes. And as in any situation, there are times when the plan isn’t being executed well. This is where a skilled coach or advisor steps in to help get things back on track.

And just like a soccer coach confers with players on the sidelines, a wealth advisor schedules time for check-ins. These are times to go over plans, goals, technical information, and more to help clients adapt to a change or go out and execute better. The one thing I always understood is the fact that as a coach, advisor, or even parent, I can’t go play the game for people. That is why having a solid game plan is so important. 

As a wealth advisor, the goal is not only to put the team (in this case, the client) on track to win but also to continue sharing useful information and learnings in a way that helps them develop the skills to be successful.

Scoring With Solidarity Wealth

Many people think that trying to navigate the market during a financial downturn is like trying to score in the rain or snow—the ball doesn’t go quite where you want it to. However, unlike soccer, a downturn also creates an opportunity for strength. If you make careful, calculated moves and purchase the right assets when the markets are down, you can potentially set yourself up for long-term success. So a financial downturn is more like playing in tall grass: you just have to kick a little harder to get the ball where you want it.

The truth is that these conditions are manageable, and you can still work to find success if you plan accordingly. At Solidarity Wealth, that’s what we help clients do. We’re a team of goal-oriented wealth advisors who can work with you to help build a better plan for your financial future. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at or call 385-374-1665.

About Zach

Zach Whitchurch is the President and a wealth advisor at Solidarity Wealth, a privately held, independent wealth management firm that serves as a multi-family office to some of the Mountain West’s most successful families, technology entrepreneurs, and executives. Zach works with clients to develop both “Wealthy Financial Habits” and “Healthy Financial Habits” and thrives on helping them understand their finances by simplifying the complex. He uses his broad knowledge on a wide variety of topics to implement creative strategies for clients as he helps them feel both seen and heard, and supports them along the path to their dreams.

Prior to co-founding Solidarity Wealth, Zach was a financial advisor and a senior vice president of investments at Wells Fargo. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Utah and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® designations. He is also a Managing Partner of Solidarity Capital. Outside of work, Zach enjoys spending time with his wife and four children and being active in both indoor and outdoor sports. He is also involved with coaching youth sports, and loves to read and learn about how the world works on a deeper level.

Solidarity Wealth is a registered investment adviser. This material is solely for informational purposes. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Solidarity Wealth and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Solidarity Wealth unless a client service agreement is in place.