A career in sports coaching can be extremely fulfilling. For those with a passion for sport, it provides the opportunity to do what you love every single day and pass on your passion to younger generations. In 2017, it was reported that about 13 million people in the UK had coached sports at some point in their lifetime - over a quarter of the population.
If you’re passionate about sport and are looking at a career in coaching, here’s everything you need to know.
There’s a wide range of jobs you can look into, whether you want to teach at an amateur or professional level. You can also choose whether you want to specialise in a specific sport or cover a variety. You can set your eyes on coaching the next Six Nations team or inspire your students in secondary school P.E.
Coaching in schools will require varying skill levels depending on whether you’re teaching primary or secondary, teaching general P.E., or coaching specific competition teams. You could also find jobs coaching in sports clubs that are independent of schools, which will usually have a more competitive focus and higher skill level requirement. Then there are the more skilled roles, coaching for elite and professional teams.
This will vary on the specific role you’re looking at. When applying for jobs in schools, some may want formal qualifications whereas others will focus more on your personality and potential.
If you’re still in school, it’s worth choosing your subjects with this future career in mind. You’ll want to choose subjects such as science and P.E. at GCSE and A-Level. It’ll also benefit your career to get some coaching work experience throughout your education.
A degree in sports science or something similar is beneficial as it will provide you with some necessary insight. But sometimes jobs will ask for a degree in any subject, so don’t worry if you want to study another course while at university.
In terms of formal coaching qualifications, a Level 2 Sports Coaching qualification from a national governing body or a UK Coaching Certificate are fairly standard and a minimum expectation for the more skilled roles. Getting a Level 3 qualification will put you in an even better position for jobs as well as having qualifications in multiple sports.
For any job that involves working with children, you’ll require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check - which checks your criminal record - and a First Aid certificate could be worth having.
Chances are every day will be different and a typical day will vary depending on your role. There’s a high chance you’ll work fairly unsociable hours, including weeknights and weekends. You may get to travel a lot if your team attends regular competitions. If this is the case, you may need a driving license to transport the team.
Coaching sports will put you in a good position to transition into a managerial role in the future. If you begin as a P.E. teacher, you may end up with a speciality you want to pursue and this will provide the essential work experience to get into a sport-specific coaching position.
A career in sports coaching can be a great choice for someone passionate about sports and sharing their skills and knowledge. It will offer you transferable skills and provide a multifaceted career that can be both satisfying and rewarding.
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