Do I Have What It Takes to Become a Sports Coach?

A career in sports coaching can be hugely rewarding, engaging a variety of people and enabling them to reach their full athletic potential. The enormous benefits of exercise and sport are now common knowledge, and there is a range of information available for free, meaning that the professional coaching industry is now more competitive than ever. To make a viable career as a sports coach — benefiting both yourself and others — there are a few key components to consider.


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The most successful sports coaches often differ in their approaches or emphases, but there are a few things they all have in common: a passion for their chosen sport, excellent communication skills, knowledge, leadership and a genuine wish to see others succeed. Be sure that your motivation is there from the beginning, and work hard to address gaps in your knowledge and experience.


For the highest levels of sports coaching, it will be necessary to attain certain qualifications, and these can vary greatly from discipline to discipline. Do your research and consider carefully what would be the most appropriate way to become qualified. Perhaps you already have significant local or national experience in the sport you wish to coach, in which case a qualification that emphasises how to communicate some of the knowledge you already have will best. Or maybe you have participated in a wide variety of sports, but nutrition and general fitness are your passions – you could perhaps consider a career in personal training or as a gym instructor. Websites such as those of the National Career Service or Sport England, for example, which publish information on sports initiatives in England, can be really helpful.


Consider volunteering as an assistant to a coach or pursuing an apprenticeship for on-the-job training. If you already have some teaching experience or would like to try your hand at coaching immediately, organisations such as offer a range of routines and plans to try, including circuit training, field hockey drills or other fun and engaging activities for a range of abilities.

If you choose to embark upon a career in sports coaching, a varied, exciting and rewarding job awaits you. With a combination of knowledge, determination, qualifications and experience, you will ensure your place in a competitive but growing industry.