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Cycling coach

Cycling coaches help riders develop their cycling technique and understand more about cycling.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need to be a skilled cyclist with a British Cycling coaching qualification.

For the qualification, you'll need:

  • to be at least 18 years old, or 16 for the level 1 course
  • to have completed a health and safety course in emergency first aid
  • professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance

British Cycling has details of their coaching qualifications and funding for qualifications.

The Cycling Tourists Club (CTC), the national charity for cycling, also offers a range of qualifications.

A degree in a sports-related subject, like sports science or racing experience at a relatively high level could give you an advantage.

If you don't have experience, you could volunteer to gain the skills you'll need.

You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to motivate others
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to adapt to different environments, ability groups and weather conditions
  • the ability to give tactful, positive advice and constructive criticism
  • organisational and planning skills

3. What you'll do

If you're working with young riders in schools and community groups, you could be:

  • planning fun, engaging coaching activities, sessions and programmes in a safe environment
  • helping riders to improve their riding technique
  • working with riders, schools, community groups and sports organisations to promote the sport

If you're working with younger riders involved in the competitive side of the sport, you could be:

  • working on developing more advanced riding techniques and tactics
  • designing basic training programmes
  • supporting riders at races and competitions
  • maintaining records of rider performance
  • advising on how lifestyle choices can affect performance

When working with more advanced riders competing at national or international level, you could be:

  • designing innovative training programmes
  • mentoring other coaches
  • working with experts including sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and programme managers
  • marketing and promoting your coaching services, if you're self-employed

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000

Experienced: £30,000

Highly Experienced: up to £50,000 (senior or head coach)

Coaches working at national or international competition level may be paid considerably more.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll often combine your coaching with other work. For instance, you might coach for 2 evenings during the week and attend events and races at the weekend.

If you're a full-time coach you'll usually work very long and unsocial hours - especially at a higher level. Competitions and matches can take place all over the UK and sometimes abroad. That could mean you spend time away from home.

6. Career path and progression

You could work for British Cycling as a development coach, introducing people to cycling, or working on talent programmes to support cyclists.

You could work as a coach for a local authority or organisation with an interest in sports development at places like BMX tracks, mountain bike trail centres or indoor cycling tracks.

You could become a self-employed coach and design training programmes for amateur riders.

You could also become a cycle trainer through the Bikeability scheme, teaching young people how to cycle safety on roads. If you work with young people, you could move into sports development or youth work.

With experience, you could transfer your skills and abilities to other areas of the sports industry.

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Last updated: 13 September 2017