Sports coaches plan, organise, execute and manage various sports activities and athletic programmes for individuals, groups or teams. They are responsible for teaching skills, techniques, rules and strategies for a particular sport, such as baseball, basketball or football.
- Identify, explain and teach rules of sports, games and events to students or participants
- Train people, mostly youth, on performance mechanisms to excel in the sport or activity
- Offer direction and encouragement to ensure that students do well and have fun
- Provide nutritional and exercise advice to get the most out of their participation
- Plan, lead, organise, coordinate and conduct practice sessions to improve athletic acumen
- Evaluate and monitor the academic improvements and achievements of all students
- Keep track of students’ use of athletic equipment and enforce safety procedures and rules
- Take charge of travel arrangements for away contests
- Hire assistants to help with coaching and supervise their performance
- Maintain records, documents and other files relating to students’ participation
- Select players, coaching staff and other personnel for sporting contests and events
- Referee indoor and outdoor games and promote these events to create awareness
Skills and qualities
You will typically begin your career as an assistant coach and work your way up the ranks to head coach.
Many sports coaches start out as high school coaches before up to the collegiate level.
Nights and weekends occasionally
Sports coaches generally work set hours but there may be occasions where they will need to work evenings on weekends. This will largely depend on whether you are self-employed or employed at a business or a school.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Qualifications and training
Bachelor’s degree in sports science
To become a sports coach, you will typically need to possess an undergraduate degree in sports science, physiology, kinesiology, nutrition and fitness, physical education, or sports medicine. Many college or professional organisations require candidates to have attained some playing in a sport at any level, such as amateur, collegiate or professional.
You will generally need to complete basic training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid, while state high school athletic associations mandate coaches be certified and have completed mandatory education courses. Check the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) website to determine what certification is necessary to attain employment.
SourcesNational Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Bureau of Labor Statistics O*NET Online Oxford Martin School
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022