Do you like the idea of a career helping budding athletes become their best selves? Earning an online coaching degree can be a fantastic way to learn more about coaching to take your athletes and your career to the next level.
In many cases, coaching is learned on the fly. While experience is a valuable part of a successful coaching career, learning about the current research and techniques that have proven effective in supporting athletes and maximizing team growth can help boost your coaching effectiveness.
For many who love coaching, the idea of an online coaching degree is a dream come true. You can continue working, supporting your team, and learning more about the best ways to help take your young athletes to the next level.
Here, we'll look at five things you should know about pursuing a coaching degree and how you can choose the right online coaching majors for your career goals.
1. How a Degree Makes a Difference
You likely already have a pretty good grasp on what it takes to successfully coach a team if you're researching how to get your online coaching degree. When you decide that you're interested in pursuing an online coaching degree, you're giving yourself a chance to dig into the techniques that will boost your effectiveness as a coach, helping you motivate your team to succeed.
When you earn your degree in coaching, you're not the only one who recognizes your effectiveness as a leader. Your athletic director and others in the administration of your sport will see your dedication and recognize that you're working hard to develop yourself to be the best possible coach for your team. This can mean new opportunities that allow you to further your career as a coach.
Players and parents will be more likely to understand that you're an authority within your sport once you earn your online coaching degree. Both parties will appreciate that you chose a method of earning your degree that allows you to continue coaching while learning, and they'll be able to see the difference in your coaching ability as you begin to apply the information you're learning in your classes to the way you coach your players.
When you earn your online coaching degree, it's wise to tell your players that you will try new techniques, especially if you've worked with them for years. This can help keep their minds open as you begin to switch up drills and expectations and help keep them mindful of the fact that you're trying new things to help them grow as a group.
2. Classes to Enhance Your Coaching Abilities
You know that coaching is a heavy time commitment, and it can be tough to watch other coaches in action when you're spending much of your time dedicated to your team. When you begin to take online coaching classes, you'll get to see other coaches at work, and you'll get to learn techniques that are working well for others.
When you take classes that allow you to enhance your coaching abilities, you're also getting the chance to get vulnerable with your classmates, discussing your coaching techniques and finding out what you could be doing better. While self-reflection can be challenging (especially when you're already working hard to be the best coach you can be), doing so can help you take your game to the next level.
When you find a weak spot in your current coaching, you'll be able to use the new techniques and methods from your classes to make immediate changes that benefit your players. You'll also notice that adding new, research-proven techniques can boost your confidence, which can feel contagious to the athletes on your team. Armed with new coaching and practice techniques, you may begin to notice a surge of excitement building within your team that translates to improved performance.
3. Know Your Career Options with a Coaching Degree
You may be thinking about earning your online coaching degree to maximize your performance in your current job, or you may want to think about how earning your degree will open up your career options beyond your current role. When you earn a coaching degree, you aren't limited to improving your current job (although that can be a fantastic option if you love what you do). You may find that earning your online coaching degree allows you to move forward to other coaching opportunities with greater exposure, such as coaching at a higher academic level or a professional-level team.
You may also find that earning an online coaching degree can help you move up within your current organization. For example, if you currently work as an assistant coach and are interested in earning a head coach position, earning your online coaching degree can help show your administration that you're ready to do what it takes to earn more responsibility. If you're already in a head coaching position and are interested in moving into administration, pursuing a coaching degree can show your boss that you're ready to move forward and help other coaches step up their game.
4. Going Collegiate with Coaching
If you're currently coaching at the high school level, you may have considered what it could be like to coach a collegiate team. Earning your online coaching degree can make you a more attractive candidate to collegiate athletic organizations, especially if your online coaching degree combines years of experience honing your craft at a lower level.
It's important to note that earning an online coaching degree doesn't necessarily mean you'll become a shoo-in for a head coaching position at a large university. Still, it can be a significant step toward getting your foot in the door for the next stage of your career.
When you earn your online coaching degree, you're showing potential employers that you're willing to go above and beyond for your team, putting in the hard work required to grow as a coach.
If it's your goal to make it to the big leagues and coach at the collegiate or professional level, adding an online coaching degree to your resume can be the first step in landing an assistant coach or coordinating coach job, which will give you a chance to show off what you've learned in your online degree program. When you start as a collegiate coach with an online coaching degree, you'll have the confidence to take your program by storm. You’ll have the necessary research to back up your coaching techniques (this can be especially important if you have effective, new, research-proven strategies that go against the way things have traditionally been done in your sport).
5. Job Outlook and Growth Potential
When you earn your online coaching degree, you aren't just learning what it takes to excel while pushing athletes on the field. You're also learning about the nuances of successful coaching, including officiating, nutrition, injury prevention and treatment, motivation science, sports management, anatomy and physiology, and more. When you get a well-rounded education that helps you understand all that goes into a successful coaching strategy will benefit you, your players, and the athletic institution you work for.
The growth trajectory for sports coach openings is huge in the United States. According to U.S. News and World Report, sports coaching as a career field is expected to grow at a rate of more than 25% between 2020 and 2030 (compared to a 7% average for all careers in the United States). By earning your online coaching degree, you aren't just setting yourself up for success in an in-demand career field–you're also setting yourself apart from your colleagues as you work to become the best possible coach for your athletes.