Sports coaches teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all sporting abilities.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll need a coaching qualification that’s recognised by the national governing body (NGB) for your sport. You can get these in one of the following ways:
- directly through a sport NGB
- as part of a college or university course that includes coaching
You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Some employers will expect you to have a relevant higher education qualification like a:
- foundation degree in sports coaching and development
- HND in sports and exercise science
- degree in coaching, sports science, sports studies or physical education
You could start by volunteering as an assistant coach for a few hours a week to get experience.
You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.
2. Skills required
- excellent communication skills
- the ability to inspire confidence and motivate participants
- the ability to assess and solve problems
- determination and patience
- good organisation skills
- a sensitive and supportive approach
- physical stamina
3. What you'll do
Your work will vary depending on:
- who you’re coaching
- the type of sport you’re coaching
If you’re working with schools and community groups, you’ll:
- plan fun, engaging coaching activities, sessions and programmes in a safe environment
- give feedback on performance and help to improve technique
- work with young people, schools, community groups and sports organisations to promote the sport
If you’re working with young people involved in competitive sport, you’ll:
- design basic training programmes
- work on developing more advanced techniques and tactics
- support performers at events and competitions
If coaching at national or international level you’ll:
- design challenging and varied training programmes
- monitor the physical condition and mental attitude of the people you coach
- work with experts in sport like sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and programme managers
- mentor other coaches
Starter: £14,000 to £22,000
Highly Experienced: £35,000 (head or senior coach for an NGB or club)
Part-time rates vary depending on how many people are being coached and at what level. The hourly rate can range from £10 to £20.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll often work in the evenings and at weekends, especially during competitions. You’ll usually work long hours if coaching at a high level.
Competitions take place all over the UK and abroad, so you’ll spend time away from home.
You’ll work in a variety of places, like schools, health centres, private health clubs and sports clubs.
You’ll spend a lot of time outside in all weather conditions.
6. Career path and progressionWith qualifications and experience, you could become a coach development officer, helping other coaches develop their skills and qualifications.
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Last updated: 14 September 2017