How to Become a Coach

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 29, 2020

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Have you always dreamed of becoming a coach? Maybe you excelled at a particular sport and want to help younger athletes achieve their full potential. Or were you intrigued by a coach as a young athlete and want to follow in that person’s footsteps? Either way, coaching is a rewarding career that allows you to make a difference in others' lives. 

Benzinga is here to provide you with step-by-guidance on how to become a coach. 

Coaching Overview

You have an idea of what coaches do, but your knowledge of the profession may stop there. Before taking the first step toward becoming a coach, you should know what the job entails, the average salary by sector, education requirements and the industry's anticipated job outlook.

Here’s the information (and more!) to help you get started. 

Job Description

Coaches teach players the mechanics of a particular sport. They also evaluate the competition and devise strategies to help their team win. Other roles and responsibilities include: 

  • Identifying and recruiting top talent 
  • Designing tailored training programs for individual athletes
  • Overseeing conditioning and practice sessions
  • Mentoring athletes throughout the season
  • Tracking the performance of athletes and offering suggestions for improvement
  • Adjusting gameday strategies based on the team and opponents

You can coach at the recreational, elementary, secondary, collegiate or professional level. 

Salary Information

In May 2019, the median annual wage for coaches was $34,840, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here’s how the salaries break down by top industries: 

  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: $37,320
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools: $46,180
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $29,960

Education Requirements

You will need a bachelor’s degree for most coaching positions outside of the recreational level. Employers aren’t as concerned with the major you select — your knowledge of the game matters most. However, it doesn’t hurt if you major in sports management, physical education, kinesiology, sports medicine or a related discipline to acquire background knowledge. 

Job Outlook

The projected growth rate for coaches through 2028 is 11%, notes This is good news for aspiring coaches as it’s 6% higher than the average for all occupations.  

Tips for Becoming a Coach

Here are some tips that will assist you in your quest to become a coach. 

Enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree Program

If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, enroll sooner than later to meet the education requirements. The college or university your select should be accredited and offer excellent student support resources to distance learning students. 

Also, evaluate the cost of attendance for your preferred schools. The rates they assess for tuition and fees should all be comparable. 

Take an Online Course

Consider an online course to learn strategies that will help you become a better coach. Even if you’re just starting, there are several affordable options for beginners. You will learn from subject-matter experts who have been in your position and leveled up their coaching career through proven strategies and techniques. 

Gain Experience

You will need experience to really stand out to employers. Join an intramural team if you haven’t yet played the sport you want to coach. It’s also a good idea to try coaching at the recreational level or volunteering to assist a high school or collegiate team.

If you excelled at a sport, that might be enough to get hired. Otherwise, you will need to lead or join the ranks of a winning program to advance your career. 

Get Certified 

Each state has its own certification requirements for high school coaches. You will have to complete the continuing education programs to get certified once you’re hired. Collegiate-level coaches also have their own set of criteria to meet before they can begin work. 

Best Universities for Becoming a Coach

Here are some online sports management degree programs to consider: 

1. Columbia College

Interested in learning about the sports industry at all levels while preparing for a career as a coach? Look no further than Columbia College. It offers a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in sports management. You will complete core courses in organizational behavior, social media, sports and event marketing, sports finance and sports and society. Electives in coaching theories, diversity in organizations, human resource management, the psychology of sport or advertising and sales promotion are also required. 

2. Toccoa Falls College 

Toccoa Falls College also features a Bachelor of Science in sport management. The curriculum focuses on ethical and moral standards of sports, effective facility marketing and management, events, media and sports organizations. Sport management majors take courses on coaching techniques, financial aid, CPR, life fitness, injury care and prevention, sports law and ethics, sport financial management and more. Another bonus is that all graduates of the degree program receive a National Coaching Certificate.

Start your coaching career off on the right track with these insightful online courses.

1. Coaching Sports 

Source: Udemy

Master the fundamentals of coaching sports at all levels through this highly-rated course. Coaching Sports delves into coaching philosophies and styles and how to coach with a purpose. You will also discover an easy way to develop an effective season plan and push your athletes to strive for excellence. 

The class is divided into 4 segments: 

  • Developing Your Coaching Philosophy
  • Planning and Pedagogy
  • Human Performance and Injury Prevention
  • Management

Register today for only $24.99 to get full lifetime access to 5.5 hours of on-demand video and 9 downloadable resources. You will also receive a certificate of completion when you reach the finish line.

Instructor Nic Olney has over 30 seasons of coaching experience. He’s led teams at the recreational, middle and high school, collegiate and professional level. 

Enroll now. 

2. Sports Coaches: Improve Your Communication Skills 

Source: Udemy

Position yourself for career advancement as a coach by learning how to effectively communicate with athletes. This highly-rated course from Udemy will show you how. 

Sports Coaches: Improve Your Communication Skills includes 36 lectures jam-packed into 2 hours of on-demand video and 1 downloadable resource. Led by speech confidence expert Serena Greenslade, the course entails 5 core modules: 

  • Talking to People Old Enough to Know More Than You Do
  • Getting Youngsters to Understand You
  • Correcting Athletes
  • Help! Lots of People Won’t Listen to Me
  • Supplementary Lectures 

It’s $19.99 to enroll. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason. 

Enroll now. 

Prepare for a Career as a Coach

Make your mark in the sports world by pursuing a career as a coach. If you don’t yet have the education you need to get hired, start by checking out our top recommendations for online bachelor’s degrees. Otherwise, consider taking an online course and gaining experience until you have enough experience under your belt to get hired. 

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community

Learn more at SNHU.