There are no set rules for becoming a sports coach, but there are some general traits that any great coaches share, whether they are teaching children at the youth level or coaching all-stars in a professional league. Many coaches, regardless of sport, will follow the same career arcs.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- College degree
Get a college degree. While it is not required, the vast majority of candidates serious about coaching will earn a degree. Many coaches will get a degree in physical education, which helps them learn about the aspects of leading a sports team. Other coaches will sometimes seek degrees or advanced training in psychology, sociology or history.
Start small. Many prospective coaches will get experience by coaching youth leagues or at the high school level while in college. Many colleges will offer internship programs either on campus or with a professional team. Aspiring coaches should apply for these internships, which often include doing things such as analysing videos, talking and working with younger players or sitting in on staff meetings. The goal is to learn about the basics of the jobs and build relationships with other coaches. In addition, most major sports leagues have internship programs that can be applied for via the league's website.
Go to clinics. Continuous learning is key to becoming a coach. That means attending seminars, classes and clinics that are focused on the specifics of a sport. Smart coaches will go to classes where they learn new systems or ideas or better ways to hone their craft.
Apply for the right jobs. Many prospective coaches will falter in their job search because they do not apply for the right positions. They often will apply for jobs for which they are under qualified. A prospective coach will look for jobs that fit their skill set and experience in order to move ahead. For example, a player who played a position in college or the pros will have an easier time landing a job as a coach in that position. Or a person who coached one only aspect of a sport for years, will have trouble getting a job coaching another position.
Tips and warnings
- Consider getting a master's degree in order to land better coaching jobs.
- Contacts are a key to getting jobs. Building relationships with other coaches will help a candidate get better offers and jobs.
- Teaching is an important part of coaching. If a person does not like the idea of giving instruction, then coaching is not the job for him.
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