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Sports coach

Alternative titles for this job include

Sports coaches teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all abilities.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a sports coach

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering

University

You can take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports coaching and development
  • sports and exercise science
  • sports studies
  • physical education

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You can do a general sports qualification such as the following:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Sport
  • Level 3 Diploma in Coaching

There are also many courses which are specific to a particular sport, for example coaching tennis or basketball.

If you are already working in a sports related field, your employer may encourage you to take a work based qualification such as:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

The following intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships are relevant to this role:

  • Level 2 Community activator coach
  • Level 3 Personal trainer
  • Level 3 Community sport and health officer
  • Level 4 Sports coach

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Work

If you're working in sport already, for example in a leisure centre, as a sports teacher or with a sports club, you can take a professional coaching qualification recognised by the national governing body for your sport.

Volunteering

You could get experience as an assistant sports coach by volunteering for a few hours a week with a club or amateur team. This is a common way to start a coaching career.

More Information

Career tips

Coaching awards are often more important than academic qualifications. But for professional coaching, some employers will expect you to have a relevant academic qualification.

Further information

You can find out more about coaching and opportunities from UK Coaching.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You'll usually need some knowledge of first aid.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work at a university, on a sports field, at a fitness centre, at a school or at a college.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With qualifications and experience, you could become a coach development officer, helping other coaches develop their skills and qualifications.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 3 Community Sport and Health Officer Apprenticeship

  • Wage: Competitive salary Unspecified
  • Location: Coventry

Apprenticeship in Coaching Sport & Physical Activity

  • Wage: £9,379.50 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Courses In England

Sports Coaching & PE Teaching

  • Provider: HAVANT AND SOUTH DOWNS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Waterlooville

Sports Coaching and Performance Science - Foundation Degree

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2022
  • Location: Blackpool

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