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Become A Performance Coach

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Working As A Performance 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

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Performance 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.

Duties

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 Performance 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.

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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Performance Coach jobs

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Performance Coach Career Paths

Performance Coach
Adjunct Instructor Analyst Controller
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Professor Attorney
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Team Manager Operations Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Exercise Specialist Instructor Operations Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Associate Director Director Of Admissions
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Consultant Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Sports Director General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Trainer Training Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Fitness Specialist Fitness Director General Manager
General Manager/Director
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Specialist Operation Supervisor
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Head Coach Program Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Group Fitness Instructor Group Exercise Instructor Personal Trainer
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sports Director Program Director Operations Director
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Head Coach Physical Education Teacher Special Education Teacher
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Team Manager Project Manager General Manager
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Fitness Specialist Program Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Group Fitness Instructor Fitness Instructor Personal Trainer
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Trainer Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Exercise Specialist Fitness Director
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Performance Coach Demographics

Gender

Male

64.9%

Female

33.4%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

81.8%

Hispanic or Latino

10.0%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.6%

French

17.1%

Portuguese

5.7%

Russian

2.9%

Irish

2.9%

Chinese

2.9%

Vietnamese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Romanian

2.9%

Greek

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Tongan

2.9%

Italian

2.9%
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Performance Coach Education

Schools

California University of Pennsylvania

12.6%

University of Phoenix

10.8%

Ball State University

7.2%

University of Louisville

6.0%

Hofstra University

6.0%

University of Central Florida

5.4%

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

4.2%

Bridgewater State University

4.2%

Liberty University

4.2%

New York University

3.6%

University of North Texas

3.6%

Appalachian State University

3.6%

Southeastern Louisiana University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%

Temple University

3.6%

University of Northern Iowa

3.6%

State University of New York College at Cortland

3.6%

Springfield College

3.6%

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

3.6%

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

3.6%
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Majors

Kinesiology

43.3%

Business

15.2%

Psychology

5.5%

Exercise Physiology

4.7%

Health Education

4.0%

Education

2.6%

Music

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Management

2.4%

Communication

2.1%

Physical Therapy

2.1%

Athletic Training

1.9%

Finance

1.6%

Counseling Psychology

1.5%

Health And Wellness

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.4%

Food And Nutrition

1.2%

Nursing

1.2%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.6%

Masters

31.3%

Other

14.6%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.3%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Performance Coach Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Movement Performance Coach Tignum LLC Phoenix, AZ Mar 24, 2015 $106,000
Performance Coach The Reach Group Americas, LLC Houston, TX Sep 12, 2013 $105,414 -
$124,000
Mental Performance Coach Rogers Blue Jays Baseball Partnership Dunedin, FL Feb 22, 2016 $95,000 -
$100,000
Performance Coach F.A.S.S.T. LLC Los Angeles, CA Nov 15, 2016 $83,480 -
$93,915
Performance Coach Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA Jan 07, 2016 $83,480
Executive Sustainable High Performance Coach Tignum LLC Phoenix, AZ May 15, 2014 $62,610
Performance Coach Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA Jul 01, 2013 $62,610
Performance Coach F.A.S.S.T. LLC Los Angeles, CA May 01, 2015 $52,175 -
$93,915
Freestyle Moguls High Performance Coach Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Inc. Steamboat Springs, CO Jul 01, 2015 $50,000
Youth Performance Coach Rugby Nation, LLC Seattle, WA Jan 12, 2015 $48,000
Performance Coach Barbell Brigade LLC Los Angeles, CA May 11, 2016 $41,740 -
$52,175
Movement Performance Coach Tignum LLC Phoenix, AZ Nov 13, 2014 $40,000
Performance Coach Barbell Brigade LLC Los Angeles, CA Oct 25, 2016 $37,566 -
$52,175
Asst Performance Coach, Speed, Strength & Conditioning Jacksonville Jaguars, LLC Jacksonville, FL Jun 01, 2015 $36,950

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Top Skills for A Performance Coach

StrengthTrainingAgilityTrainingSportsPerformanceSafetyCustomerServiceTrainingSessionsPersonalTrainingSoccerProfessionalAthletesVolleyballMovementPatternsMaximumVelocityInjuryPreventionSmallGroupGroupTrainingWeightRoomProgramDesignYouthAthletesConflictResolutionSoftSkills

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Top Performance Coach Skills

  1. Strength Training
  2. Agility Training
  3. Sports Performance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide Speed and Strength training in the development of athletes in team and group settings.
  • Assessed athletic ability and created strength, and speed and agility training based on their needs.
  • Worked with various levels of athletes including: Adolescent, Collegiate and Professional on all aspects of sports performance.
  • Led a workout station daily and ensured the use of proper form and maximal safety for all the athletes.
  • Created and enforced policies relating to interdepartmental relationships, professional standards, record keeping, and customer service

Top Performance Coach Employers

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Performance Coach Videos

Coaching Employees: 5 Coaching Power Words

Beachbody Summit 2014 - Creating High Performance Coaches

Sports Psychology Certification: Performance Coach Training - Careers for Athletes and Coaches

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