coach working

What does a Coach do?

A coach instructs people on the skills of a sport and they can coach an amateur or professional team or athlete. They improve a teams performance and an athletes skill by developing practice drills and conditioning sessions. Coaches are also involved in the recruitment and scouting of potential new talent.

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How to Become a Coach

A bachelor’s degree is usually expected in sports science, exercise, kinesiology, physiology, fitness and nutrition, sports medicine, and physical education. Considerable experience and knowledge in their preferred sport is also needed though some training may be given on-the-job. However, you can also help coach with no coaching experience or formal education.

Many elementary and middle school age teams are in need of coaches. If you’d like to coach and have no experience, there is probably a team that would appreciate a volunteer!

Job Description of a Coach

If a coach works for an amateur team, they may teach the fundamentals of their sport through demonstration and practice drills. They will teach athletes strategies to win in their sport, rules of the sport, and performance principles. They also monitor athletes and evaluate their fitness and skill to make any needed adjustments or suggestions for the player to improve. A coach is sure to maintain the safe and proper use of any equipment used.

Coaches remain current on new equipment technology, rules, or training techniques that would concern their sport and apply any new knowledge to the game or their athlete. A coach works irregular hours that could include nights, weekends, and holidays. Travel is also required to sports events and in the search for new athletic talent.

Coach Career Video Transcript

No matter what natural talents an athlete brings to a sport, the game can be won or lost by the skill of the coach. Coaches can be patient instructors, demanding bosses, and enthusiastic cheerleaders. Their job is to prepare athletes for competition and victory.

The best coaches also help teams learn from defeat. They may work with young athletes to teach basic skills, then refine and improve the athletes’ form and technique. Or they may manage entire teams, from running practice sessions to planning strategy for a big game. Most coaches also need physical endurance and the willingness to handle difficult outdoor conditions.

Off the field, coaches study team statistics and footage of past practices and games, and work with athletes to improve their performance. A head coach may hire assistants to take on some of the budgeting and scheduling tasks. Some coaches become scouts, looking for fresh talent and looking for new team members or analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams to develop game strategies.

Coaches work whenever practices and sporting events are scheduled, often at night and on weekends and holidays. Though an athletics-related college degree is usually preferred, education and training requirements vary widely by sport. Coaches often start as assistants. They work their way up by developing good relationships with players, demonstrating expert knowledge of the sport, and helping athletes or teams improve and win. Some coaches become celebrities in their own right. Others may be stars only to the players they’ve coached, inspiring them long after they’ve left the field.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Coaches and Scouts.

National Center for O*NET Development. 27-2022.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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