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Become A Coach

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Working As A Coach

  • 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

  • $37,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Coach Do

Coaches teach amateur and professional athletes the skills they need to succeed at their sport. Scouts look for new players, evaluating their skills and likelihood for success at the college, amateur, or professional level. Many coaches are also involved in scouting potential athletes.


Coaches typically do the following:

  • Plan, organize, and conduct practice sessions
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of individual athletes and opposing teams
  • Plan strategies and choose team members for each game
  • Provide direction, encouragement, and motivation to prepare athletes for games
  • Call plays and make decisions about strategy and player substitutions during games
  • Plan and direct physical conditioning programs that enable athletes to achieve maximum performance
  • Instruct athletes on proper techniques, game strategies, sportsmanship, and the rules of the sport
  • Keep records of athletes’ and opponents’ performance
  • Identify and recruit potential athletes
  • Arrange for and offer incentives to prospective players

Coaches teach professional and amateur athletes the fundamental skills of individual and team sports. They hold training and practice sessions to improve the athletes' form, technique, skills, and stamina. Along with refining athletes’ individual skills, coaches are also responsible for instilling in their players the importance of good sportsmanship, a competitive spirit, and teamwork.

Many coaches evaluate their opponents to determine game strategies and to establish specific plays to practice. During competition, coaches call specific plays intended to surprise or overpower the opponent, and they may substitute players for optimum team chemistry and success.

Many high school coaches are primarily academic teachers or other school administrators who supplement their income by coaching part time.

Some people who teach the fundamental skills of individual and teams sports may be known as sports instructors rather than coaches. Like coaches, sports instructors hold practice sessions, assign specific drills, and correct athletes' techniques. They may spend their time working one-on-one with athletes, designing customized training programs for each individual. Sports instructors may specialize in teaching athletes the skills of an individual sport, such as tennis, golf, or karate. Some sports instructors, such as pitching instructors in baseball, may teach individual athletes involved in team sports.

However, many sports instructors work with people who simply have an interest in learning a new sport rather than athletes competing in events. For example, a skiing instructor may give individual or group lessons to those interested in learning how to ski.

Scouts typically do the following:

  • Read newspapers and other news sources to find athletes to consider
  • Attend games, view videotapes of the athletes’ performances, and study statistics about the athletes to determine talent and potential
  • Talk to the athlete and the coaches to see if the athlete has what it takes to succeed
  • Report to the coach, manager, or owner of the team for which he or she is scouting
  • Arrange for and offer incentives to prospective players

Scouts evaluate the skills of both amateur and professional athletes. Scouts seek out top athletic candidates for colleges or professional teams and evaluate their likelihood of success at a higher competitive level.

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How To Become A Coach

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.


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.


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 jobs

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Coach Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Italian

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Arabic

  • Portuguese

  • Russian

  • Cantonese

  • Greek

  • Hindi

  • Korean

  • Swedish

  • Urdu

  • Polish

  • Vietnamese

  • Carrier

  • Hebrew

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Coach Education


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Real Coach Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Coach Solutionsiq Redmond, WA Apr 20, 2015 $129,000
Lean Coach IBM India Private Limited San Jose, CA Jan 09, 2016 $112,554 -
Implementation Coach McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States Palo Alto, CA Aug 15, 2016 $112,427
Implementation Coach McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States Denver, CO Aug 15, 2016 $112,385
Implementation Coach McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States Los Angeles, CA Aug 04, 2015 $106,646
Implementation Coach McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States Los Angeles, CA Aug 15, 2015 $106,646
Innovation Implementation Coach Stanford Health Care Palo Alto, CA Jul 18, 2016 $97,739 -
Lean Coach IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jun 08, 2016 $94,124
Lean Coach IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Apr 08, 2016 $94,124
Lean Coach IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jul 22, 2016 $94,124
Lean Coach IBM India Private Limited Dublin, OH Dec 28, 2015 $93,288
Lean Coach IBM India Private Limited Atlanta, GA Dec 28, 2015 $93,288
Healthcare Transformation Coach New Jersey Innovation Institute Newark, NJ Mar 10, 2016 $75,000
Healthcare Transformation Coach New Jersey Innovation Institute Newark, NJ Nov 21, 2016 $75,000
Sports Coach Lionheart Fitness Kids, LLC South San Francisco, CA May 20, 2015 $73,045
Sports Coach Lionheart Fitness Kids, LLC South San Francisco, CA May 07, 2015 $73,045
Administrator-Math Coach Pearsall Independent School District Pearsall, TX Nov 05, 2016 $71,580
Administrator Math Coach Pearsall Independent School District Pearsall, TX Sep 30, 2016 $65,200 -
Coach Massive Coaching LLC Palm City, FL Oct 01, 2016 $64,384
Coach California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA Jan 07, 2015 $62,500
Taekwondo Coach Master Yoo's World Class Tae Kwon Do, Inc. Noblesville, IN Jul 12, 2015 $44,990
Coach Premier Uk Soccer Mebane, NC Jan 27, 2016 $44,119
Coach Premier Uk Soccer NC Jan 27, 2015 $42,324
Rookie Coach Rangers Baseball LLC Surprise, AZ Sep 13, 2016 $42,000
Coach/Director Excite Soccer Programs Arlington, VA Aug 28, 2015 $40,000 -
Coach/Director Excite Soccer Programs Arlington, VA Sep 16, 2015 $40,000 -
Coach Randoloph School of Gymnastics Inc. Randolph, NJ May 21, 2015 $39,553
Rowing Coach Water Sports Center Inc. Norwalk, CT Jan 15, 2016 $39,500

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Top Skills for A Coach


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Top Coach Skills

  1. Safety Rules
  2. Customer Service
  3. Girls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations.
  • Provided excellent customer service by helping customers locate products and providing directions.
  • Head coach for middle school boys basketball, boys and girls elementary school flag football and soccer teams.
  • Coached kids from 11-17 developing soccer skills and teaching them how to Compete at the highest level both state and national.
  • Worked weekly with the preparatory chorus to enhance students' music theory and sight singing skills utilizing my own curriculum.

Top Coach Employers

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Coach Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Apprentice Development Coach by Victoria B (Highlights)

Shaka Sola - Sports Coach

Steve Hansen, All Blacks coach - Wise Words highlights