So you want to be a sports coach?
Well, you’re not alone! In 2019, there were 3 million working coaches in the UK, working with kids, adults, athletes, and the elderly and rehabilitating those in need. There is no one group, sport or discipline where you couldn’t excel as a coach. The job profiles are endless!
Where should you start your journey? Here are a few tips to help you choose the best pathway for you.
Don’t neglect your soft skills
Soft skills are essential for coaching. Remember you are at the frontline when it comes to improving a person’s skills, and even their mental or physical health. Whether they’re an athlete or a child, you need to develop an approachable and friendly manner. To improve their skills, learning how to give constructive criticism is a fast way to build relationships that will make you the best coach you can be!
Volunteer your time
Volunteering is the most common way to become a sports coach. Sports clubs and even professional athletes have been built on passionate volunteers. It’s one of the easiest ways to get experience in sports coaching with children and adults.
Say you want to coach children. Nearly 45% of children engage in sports or physical activity every day. Especially if you’ve taught adults, whilst you need the same basic skills, you need to pivot your skill set to work with children.
Work and coach with an Apprenticeship
Apprentices aren’t just for those traditional manual jobs like electricians and plumbers. You can become a professional sports coach through an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships can offer you the volunteer hands-on experience you need to excel in sports coaching, as well as the theories that can help you plan, build, and carry out your coaching plans. The National Careers Service runs an Apprenticeship website that can show you all the available levels and locations to become an apprentice sports coach.
If you’re ready to start, why not apply for an Apprenticeship with First Step Training? Study and coach to be a cycling instructor or even a Community Activator Coach – just the ticket if you’re looking to improve your skills and coach in your local community.
Coaching courses and qualifications
What kind of coach do you want to be? Sports coaching is such a diverse sector that you’ll always find something you’re interested in. You can take a general sports qualification that gives you a good grounding in the basic skills before specialising or going to work! What about the First Step Training multi-skills qualifications? They can provide you with those core skills that will help you coach any sport.
Further study at University
There are some brilliant university programmes in sports coaching, exercise science, and physical education on offer. You’ll usually need anywhere between 1 and 3 A-levels or an equivalent foundation degree or higher national diploma to get on to a University course. Show your passion for the sector, and many programmes will accept a range of experiences in employment, volunteering, courses and apprenticeships.
University can give you an opportunity to take on voluntary work, work in student sports and through international sports programmes while you study. Discover the psychology of exercise or build your business acumen in courses like leisure and recreation management. Expand your horizons and become your own boss!
First Step Training helps aspiring coaches into sports coaching. Whether you’re looking to upskill or harness your passion for fitness, First Step Training is your no.1 training partner. Contact the team today!