Sports coach

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

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 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 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 for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You can do a qualification at college like a Level 3 Diploma in Coaching. Many courses are specific to a particular sport, for example coaching tennis or basketball.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in sports coaching.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced 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 and experience

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

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
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You'll usually need some knowledge of first aid.

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

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

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Football Coach at First Kick Football

  • Wage : £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: Preston PR5 4LA

Courses In England

"Sports Coaching Foundation Degree - Level 5 - UOCHESTR"

  • Provider: Cheshire College South & West
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Ellesmere Port

HE BSC HONS IN SPORTS COACHING (PERFORMANCE AND PARTICIPATION) FT

  • Provider: Chesterfield College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

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