Players, meet the coach: The host behind the popular “Coaches Don’t Play” podcast

By:
Gurshabad Kang/@gurshabadkang

If you haven’t heard of Coach P, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on. 

A hair and makeup artist by profession, Coach P (aka Pammy), talked to 5X Press about her podcast “Coaches Don’t Play,” based out of Calgary, Alberta.

The podcast, which puts outa new episode every Thursday on all major platforms, has since blown up in the Lower Mainland.

When asked about how the podcast got started and how she decided on the format, Pammy told 5X that the fans can thank one of her cousins for putting the idea in her head.

“One of my cousins said that since I’m a really good storyteller, I should start a podcast,” she said.

“The same cousin is also the one who told me to do a ‘Coaches’ Huddle’ segment once I started the podcast. That’s when I started the anonymous form where people could submit questions to be answered on the podcast. It blew up and propelled the podcast forward and that’s the bulk of my content now.”

The ‘Coaches Huddle,’ where listeners submit their own anonymous stories, is one of the biggest segments of the podcast, and usually the most anticipated each week. 

We asked Pammy why she thinks that segment does so well, and she says it has created a sense of community. 

“The more I do it, the more I'm realizing that a lot of people don't have other people to talk to. Even those that do have friends and family they can turn to, often those friends and family are gonna sugarcoat things, so it's like the perfect thing when you can anonymously submit and get a 100% honest response, which is just me slapping you back down to earth sometimes.”

Coach P names certain characters and submissions, especially those that are an ongoing story or require more details, and she asks them to resubmit with updates. 

This allows the audience to get invested in the story and form their own opinion, and adds to that level of community so that everyone feels like they are part of the story.

For example, fans were eagerly awaiting an update from the “Devdas girl” in the most recent episodes.

Coach P also reads the anonymous form submissions during her weekly Sunday night Instagram live. 

This strengthens Coach P’s connection to her audience, because the Instagram live’s interactive format allows people to join and respond in real time with their opinion, and the person who submitted their story gets a chance to anonymously hear advice and opinions regarding their issue. 

Coach connects the lives to the podcast by selecting a few submissions to be reiterated in the next podcast with references to audience commentary and consensus.

We asked Pammy how she convinces the assistant coaches (her guests) to be on the podcast regularly. 

“They love it because we just talk sh*t basically for an hour. They get recognized and people tell them that they’re so funny so they love that,” she laughed. “They also just see the great side of it because they don't have to edit for hours and upload it.”

The recurring assistant coaches are Pammy’s brother Gurkaran, and his wife, Kiran, as well as Pammy’s friend and business partner, Gurveen. She has also done a couple episodes with her mom, Parminder Aunty, in Punjabi. Her guests have garnered fans of their own because the podcast really thrives due to the rapport and chemistry between Coach P and the assistant coaches.

There is some expectation of backlash that comes with having a public platform, and we asked Pammy how she navigates that. 

“I don’t get like real backlash, it's always someone in my anonymous form. Most of it is from people taking things too seriously and forgetting that it’s a comedy podcast, so we’re joking.” she said.

“For example, when we talk about Gurveen’s relationship with her husband, people will be like ‘well you guys shouldn't talk about that because it's promoting young girls getting married to older men,’ when that's legitimately just her real life experience. There’s usually at least one person per episode, on average that will nitpick, but the positive feedback always heavily outweighs the negative feedback.” 

Pammy told us about her support system and their role in providing her with perspective. 

“I think I have a really good group of people behind me. Anything that I'm unsure about, I always run through them first to make sure that everything is good. If they think it's OK then we can go ahead and post it.”

Coach P had some advice for those who are inspired by her to give it a shot and start out in the podcast world. 

She attributes two things to the success of Coaches Don’t Play: authenticity and consistency. 

“I feel like people can sniff someone who's trying to be something that they're not. Talk about something that's easy for you to talk about in which you don't have to censor yourself,” she said.

“The only reason the podcast is doing so well is because people connect to it and they relate to it because 100% of what you hear, is what we actually are in real life.”

When it comes to her success, consistency is key.

“I feel like a lot of people start podcasts and they stop after five episodes or they do three episodes in a row, and then they don't do one for a month,” she said.

“Another reason the podcast does well is because I’ve consistently been posting an episode for a year and a half, every single Thursday. Even though you don’t get many downloads in the beginning, trust starts to build with your audience which is really important.” 

As for the future of Coaches Don’t Play, she says that fans can look forward to a video segment being included along with the audio soon. 

Pammy isn’t stopping anytime soon, and she is hoping to get bigger names on the podcast and working on curating an interview style format that will fit with the vibe of the existing content.

Until then, there’s many episodes available to binge (which I highly recommend doing) for those who are just getting into the podcast.

For the rest, you’ll have to join the fans that eagerly wait for a new episode to drop every Thursday.

Follow Pammy on Instagram here.

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About the author: Gurshabad’s educational background in Biology and Psychology is inspired by her lifelong pursuit to seek and decipher the human connection. She loves McDonald’s fries, long walks on the beach, and telling people how to correctly pronounce her name. She regularly forces her friends to sit in her car & record a podcast aptly named Sitting In The Car. You can find her but more importantly her dog, @gurshabadkang on all platforms.

5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.

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