The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Sports Coach
Do you have the desire to help talented people succeed?
You’re sports mad, but you’re happy to watch from the sidelines, inspiring others to develop and be the best they can be, enforcing your vision onto others to help them achieve greatness – if this describes you, then you are a sports coach in the making.
What is a Sports Coach?
Sports coaches live and breathe sports, and they want to lead by example, passing their wisdom onto others. They are the masterminds behind the victories.
You’ll need to bring energy, enthusiasm, and the will to win to every training session.
You can end up working in a variety of locations, such as schools, universities, leisure centres, health clubs, holiday camps or sport clubs. Depending on the sport, you’re likely to be working outside for much of your time on the job, in all weather conditions. Of course, your work will vary depending on the level, age and the sports you coach.
Sounds great so far, doesn’t it? You can take this as a pro or a con - your dedication to this job role might affect your personal life, for example travelling both nationally and internationally depending on the level that you are coaching, and working unsociable hours (early mornings, evenings and weekends).
It is a very rewarding job; his or her success will become your success and you can take someone from the bottom to the very top and really influence an ambitious person or team.
Hours of Work
Your hours will be dependent on the type of sport and level that you are coaching. You will be doing shift work, which could vary from early mornings, evenings and weekends. As some sports are seasonal, you may be coaching all year round, with some times of the year busier than others - attending competitions, travelling and having more frequent and intense sessions.
So, what will your main responsibilities be as a Sports Coach?
Duties typically include:
- Designing training programs
- Evaluating performance and giving feedback
- Supporting the team/ individuals
- Coming up with tactics and techniques
- Working alongside other professionals such as nutritionists and physiotherapists
- Working on improving your team/individuals both physically and mentally
- Maintaining records
- Applying for sponsorships
- Marketing (if self employed)
- Planning training schedules
Key Sports Coach qualifications
Do you have the qualifications to get the job?
If you are lucky enough to know which career path you want to take from an early age, you can prepare for higher education by taking relevant GCSE’s and A levels such as physical education and sciences. Some courses you can take following on from this are:
- Coaching qualifications – recognised by national governing body (NGB) for your sport
- UKCC - UK Coaching Certificate – part of the UK Coaching framework of nationally recognised standards within UK coaching
- BTEC HND in sports and exercise science
- Sport Science degree
- Foundation degree in sports coaching and development
- City and Guilds Coaching course
You’ll need a DBS check to work with children and you might be required to have a driving license so that you can transport the people that you are coaching to competitions.
Vital Sports Coach skills
Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role:
- Physical fitness
- Ability to motivate others
- Organisational skills
- Trustworthy and ability to build relationships
- Team building
What is a Sports Coach’s salary?
Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…
As a newly qualified sports coach you can expect to earn between £15,000 and £25,000. Of course a senior coach will earn more, especially those that are employed by professional sports clubs or National Governing Bodies. The salary will range from £30,000 - £35,000. Experienced coaches can earn much more than this.
The rate for coaching unprofessional sportsmen and women start from around £10 per hour.
How to become a Sports Coach?
Now that you know what a Sports Coach does, how do you become one?
If you have an interest in a particular sport such as football or swimming, you could take coaching qualifications whilst attending the club and become an assistant coach to people of a lower level than you. This way you can gain experience and in the future you can apply to coaching jobs once you are fully qualified. It’s often about who you know, so working in a club that you’ve been a part of for some time might increase your chances of getting the job.
An apprenticeship is also a route that you can consider. You can apply to an apprenticeship straight from leaving school. You will gain practical experience on the job whilst attaining qualifications.
How to develop your Sports Coach career?
Once you have coached to your hearts content, you could become a coach development officer. Now you can spread your coaching wisdom to others – helping them to inspire prospective and current sportsmen and women and be the best coach they can be.
If you want a slight change in career, you could consider becoming a PE teacher. You will still be educating and encouraging people to play sports to the best of their ability and focusing on something that you love.
Or, have you ever thought about personal training? You are likely to have the qualifications you need to do this job well, such as sports science. You can work on a one to one level to improve clients’ health and fitness.
The opportunities are endless in the sports industry; the ways in which you can help others to achieve their dreams are never ending.
Now go out there and achieve your (and others) dreams!
You can find some of the best Sports Coach roles with brands such as Sport4Kids, Oxford University Sport, Everyone Active and many more.
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