Basketball coaching qualifications

Updated April 17, 2017

Coaching basketball can be very rewarding for any person with a genuine love for the sport. Communication skills and playing experience are examples of the qualifications needed for entry level coaching positions. A postsecondary degree and state certification is needed for most high school, college and professional basketball coaching positions.

Interpersonal Skills

One of the most important qualifications for coaching basketball is strong interpersonal skills. A basketball coach must be able to communicate effectively with other coaches, parents, school officials and even local businesses. Communication may be most important when dealing with players. To get the best out of each player, the basketball coach must not only have the ability to explain different aspects of the game but also be able to listen and answer any questions the players may have.


There is not a specific educational qualification for basketball coaches at the middle school, or junior high, level or below. Generally, basketball coaches at most public high schools must have a bachelor’s degree. Most collegiate and professional basketball coaches are required to also have a master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in any subject is suitable. The degree programs specifically related to coaching include physical education, kinesiology, physiology, sports science and sports medicine.


Head basketball coaches at state schools are also required to teach. For this reason, certification is a qualification that must be met according to state requirements by potential high school basketball coaches. In certain states, however, certification is not a coaching requirement in private schools.


Experience is sometimes the only qualification needed for coaching basketball. For example, entry level positions, such as coaching a recreational team, only require the coach to have experience playing basketball at some level. Professional and major college basketball coaches must have experience playing or coaching at the college or professional level.

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About the Author

Drew Woods is a native of Milwaukee, Wis. who has written articles for the international basketball website USbasket. He holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Bethel University and has been writing professionally for various websites since 2009.