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Become A Coach/Instructor

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Working As A Coach/Instructor

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Stressful

  • $35,090

    Average Salary

What Does A Coach/Instructor Do

A Coach/Instructor teaches athletes the correct way to play a sport. They offer professional development and improvement guidance to high school students, college students, and other individuals.

How To Become A Coach/Instructor

Coaches and scouts typically need a bachelor’s degree. They must also have extensive knowledge of the sport. Coaches typically gain this knowledge through their own experiences playing the sport at some level. Although previous playing experience may be beneficial, it is not required for most scouting jobs.

Education

College and professional coaches must usually have a bachelor’s degree. This degree can typically be in any subject. However, some coaches may decide to study exercise and sports science, physiology, kinesiology, nutrition and fitness, physical education, and sports medicine.

High schools typically hire teachers or administrators at the school for most coaching jobs. If no suitable teacher is found, schools hire a qualified candidate from outside the school. For more information on education requirements for teachers, see the profile on high school teachers.

Scouts must also typically have a bachelor’s degree. Some scouts decide to get a degree in business, marketing, sales, or sports management.

Other Experience

College and professional coaching jobs also typically require experience playing the sport at some level.

Scouting jobs typically do not require experience playing a sport at the college or professional level, but it can be beneficial. Employers look for applicants with a passion for sports and an ability to spot young players who have exceptional athletic ability and skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most state high school athletic associations require coaches to be certified or at least complete mandatory education courses.

Certification often requires coaches to be a minimum age (at least 18 years old) and be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Some states also require coaches to attend classes related to sports safety and coaching fundamentals prior to becoming certified. For information of specific state coaching requirements, contact the state’s high school athletic association or visit the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Although most public high school coaches need to meet these state requirements in order to become a coach, certification may not be required for coaching and sports instructor jobs in private schools.

Some schools may require coaches to have a teaching license and complete a background check.

Certification requirements for college coaching positions also vary.

Additional certification may be highly desirable or even required in order to become an instructor in scuba diving, tennis, golf, karate, or other individual sports. There are many certifying organizations specific to the various sports, and their requirements vary.

Part-time workers and those in smaller facilities or youth leagues are less likely to need formal education or training and may not need certification.

Advancement

To reach the ranks of professional coaches, a candidate usually needs years of coaching experience and a winning record at a college. Some coaches may not have previous coaching experience but are nevertheless hired at the professional level due to their success as an athlete in that sport.

Some college coaches begin their careers as graduate assistants or assistant coaches to gain the knowledge and experience needed to become a head coach. Large schools and colleges that compete at the highest levels require a head coach with substantial experience at another school or as an assistant coach.

Other college coaches may start out as high school coaches before moving up to the collegiate level.

Scouts may begin working as talent spotters in a particular area or region. They typically advance to become supervising scouts responsible for a whole territory or region.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Because coaches instruct, organize, and motivate athletes, they must have excellent communication skills. They must effectively communicate proper techniques, strategies, and rules of the sport so every player on the team understands.

Decisionmaking skills. Coaches must choose the appropriate players to use at a given position at a given time during a game and know the proper time to utilize game-managing tools such as timeouts. Coaches and scouts also must be very selective when recruiting players from lower levels of athletics.

Dedication. Coaches must attend daily practices and assist their team and individual athletes in improving their skills and physical conditioning. Coaches must be dedicated to their sport, as it often takes years to become successful.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to relate to athletes helps coaches and scouts foster positive relationships with their current players and recruit potential players.

Leadership skills. Coaches must demonstrate good leadership skills to get the most out of athletes. They also must be able to motivate, develop, and direct young athletes.

Resourcefulness. Coaches must find a strategy and develop a game plan that yields the best chances for winning. Coaches often need to create original plays or formations that provide a competitive advantage and confuse opponents.

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Coach/Instructor jobs

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Real Coach/Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Women's Head Cross Country Coach/Instructor San Diego Community College District San Diego, CA Apr 14, 2011 $129,081 -
$151,203
Associate Head Coach/Instructor Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA Jul 12, 2015 $92,906
Taekwondo Coach and Instructor Park's Global Taekwondo, Inc. East Haven, CT May 25, 2016 $72,000
Instructor/Coach The University of Alabama In Huntsville Huntsville, AL Sep 01, 2016 $57,861
Director of Coaching and Instruction Coast Sports LLC Los Angeles, CA Oct 04, 2015 $52,000
Director of Coaching and Instruction Coast Sports LLC Santa Monica, CA Oct 04, 2014 $52,000
Director of Coaching & Instruction Coast Sports LLC Santa Monica, CA Sep 24, 2011 $52,000
Head Coach/Instructor of Wheelchair Basketball The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Jul 01, 2014 $51,000
Instructor/Coach Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH Aug 16, 2016 $51,000
Head Coach/Instructor of Wheelchair Basketball The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Jan 07, 2014 $51,000
Head Coach/Instructor of Wheelchair Basketball The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Aug 16, 2016 $51,000
Head Softball Coach and Instructor Barry University Miami Shores, FL Aug 21, 2010 $51,000
Golf Coach/Instructor GF, LLC Montgomery, AL Oct 01, 2011 $50,000
Taekwondo Coach/Instructor Black Belt College, Inc. Marlboro, NJ Mar 16, 2015 $49,691
Women's Assistant Hockey Coach/Instructor Clarkson University Potsdam, NY Aug 01, 2014 $42,000
Gymnastics Coach/Instructor Gymtowne Gymnastics South San Francisco, CA Dec 01, 2012 $41,740
Gymnastics Coach/Instructor Gymtowne Gymnastics San Bruno, CA Nov 21, 2009 $41,740
Gymnastics Coach/Instructor Northern Elite Gymnastics & Cheer, LLC NJ Jun 07, 2012 $40,768
Gymnastics Coach/Instructor Northern Elite Gymnastics and Cheer, LLC NJ Jun 25, 2012 $40,768
Assistant Coach/Instructor, Women's Soccer University of South Alabama Mobile, AL Jun 18, 2016 $37,500
Taekwondo Coach and Instructor TKD Moon, LLC Manahawkin, NJ Nov 03, 2016 $37,000
Head Men's Soccer Coach and Instructor American International College Springfield, MA Jan 07, 2016 $35,700
Instructor & Coach Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY Oct 16, 2014 $35,530
Tennis Coach/Instructor Proserve Concepts Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL May 18, 2016 $35,480
Instructor/Coach McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA Mar 04, 2015 $35,000
Taekwondo Coach and Instructor B.M. Kim TAE Kwon Do, Inc. White Plains, NY Aug 03, 2016 $33,800

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Top Skills for A Coach/Instructor

ProfessionalDevelopmentSessionsCurriculumDevelopmentClassroomManagementMathematicsWeeklyLessonPlansLiteracyProfessionalLearningCommunitiesStudentAchievementGradeLevelInstructionalStrategiesLanguageInstructionalCoachDataAnalysisInstructionalPracticesStudentLearningSmallGroupStaffDevelopmentStudentAssessmentDataBirthdayPartiesClassroomInstruction

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Top Coach/Instructor Skills

  1. Professional Development Sessions
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Classroom Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Led professional development sessions and supported administration through collaboration with teachers and support personnel.
  • Maintain professional competence by participating in staff development activities, curriculum development meetings, and other professional opportunities.
  • Performed extensive observations and provided useful feedback about best practices, lesson plan design, classroom management and successful teaching techniques.
  • Prepared and conducted professional development workshops for instructional staff grades 6-8 in best practices to teach mathematics.
  • Supported instructional staff's development of weekly lesson plans and delivery of instruction.

Top Coach/Instructor Employers

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