Are you competitive? Passionate about sports? Did you participate in sports programs in high school or college? Did you take it to the next level? Most of us will never reach the point where we can actively participate in sports as a player and support ourselves and our families. There is a way, however, to stay active in a sport, share your passion with others and make a living—coaching. For that, it’s best to be prepared.
What is a Bachelor’s Degree in Coaching Sports?
A basic coaching degree is a Bachelor of Science in sports science, sports leadership or sports coaching. If you desire to become a coach at a high level, you will also want to gain experience by playing sports and coaching teams that help you break into the profession. Additionally, you will need to examine the requirements for the district or state in which you want to eventually pursue a career.
For your bachelor’s in coaching sports, you’ll likely be involved in a Bachelor of Science program where you’ll major in sports science or sports leadership. It’s a degree that can help bring in any number of career opportunity areas, including:
- Physical education
- Sports science
- Sports management
- Health and nutrition
As you prepare for your sports coaching degree, you will take classes that cover the human body and how it functions. You will take classes to learn about anatomy and biology. You will study performance-based material and discover how the body responds to heat or food. You will even learn about the psychology of sports and how to motivate others to perform.
What is a Master’s Degree in Coaching Sports?
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you may choose to pursue your master’s. In fact, many professional coaches progress on to the master’s level in coaching, sports management or sports psychology. Other master’s degrees include physical education, exercise science and sports science.
If you want to become a coach, you will discover that as you move up through the ranks, coaching positions become more and more competitive, making an advanced degree critical if you want to have opportunities for advancement at this level. A master’s degree can help qualify you to coach in a number of amateur sports. Many programs focus or touch on:
- Relationship-building and networking with others in the coaching profession
- Receiving mentoring from coaching professionals
- Development of administration and research skills
- Basic sports medicine
- Injury prevention
- Sports law
Your degree will help prepare you for the many aspects of a coaching career; after all, you need to do more than teach someone about the sport. Your degree will train and prepare you to assess the skills of your players and teach you methods you can use to motivate them. You will also learn how to manage the business side of a team. You will take classes in conditioning and performance, injury prevention, leadership and ethics.
What Certifications Can You Get in Sports Coaching?
If you wish to coach at the high school level, many positions require a coaching certification by the residing state. Some colleges and universities require this certification as well. Certification requirements vary from state to state; however, most certifications typically include CPR certification, participation in a coaching activity at a clinic or camp, and successful completion of an exam. Private schools may not require any type of certification. Check with the district you wish to work for to determine what requirements they may have for certification.
Career Opportunities with a Coaching Degree
Let’s look at some of the career opportunities you can pursue with a sports coaching degree which will enable you to work in a wide range of settings including schools, professional sports clubs and even prisons.
As a coach in sports, you will have a rewarding career helping individuals and/or teams work towards achieving their full potential by identifying needs and then planning and implementing suitable training programs. Sports coaches use their training and skills in a wide range of settings. Employers may include:
- Amateur and professional sports clubs
- Educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities
- Private sports clubs
- Activity centers
- Residential camps
- Leisure facilities
- Fitness centers and health clubs
- Sports councils
- National sporting governing bodies
- The armed forces
A degree in coaching may also afford you additional career options such as that of a personal trainer, an outdoor activities/education manager, a sports and exercise psychologist or a sports therapist.
There are other career paths where a coaching degree, along with other prerequisites, can be beneficial. Some of these include:
- Sport administrator
- Fitness center manager
- Life coach
- Youth worker
- Primary or secondary school teacher
- Teaching assistant
Additional Considerations When Pursuing a Sports Coaching Career
After receiving your sports coaching degree, many employers will want to see some sort of work experience in the field of coaching on your resume. This can be easily obtained while you are working on your degree through volunteer activities, part-time and volunteer positions working with local schools, internships with sports organizations or clubs, youth organizations and community projects.
Look for opportunities where you can use your experience as a participant in a sport or sports organization to volunteer to coach a younger age group in the same sport. Also look for opportunities to volunteer your time and talent as a coach alongside a qualified staff member, enabling you to gain experience while shadowing others.
If you want to pursue an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree program in coaching, you’ve found the perfect fit at the University of the Cumberlands. With professors who have years of real-world experience in the same field they are teaching, very competitive tuition rates, and a sense of honor in everything we do, why look any further? See what Cumberlands can do for you by contacting an admissions counselor for more information.