Becoming a coach is a labor of love and commitment. Not only does a coach need to be completely fluent in their sport, they must be able to teach their sport to others well. A good coach will do more then that. They will inspire their players to be the best that they can be.
The Skills of a Coach
First, a prospective coach must study and know their game. They should know how the game is played, something of the history of the game and understand the rules. Most coaches will have also been players of their game at some point in time. A coach will need so-called 'soft skills', too. These are people skills; leadership ability with excellent interpersonal and communication skills are most important.
Good coaches will be able to inspire those that they are teaching. They will be able to make split second decisions under pressure during a game. They will be able to work with their team to create game plans for success.
What Type of Coaching Can I Do?
A professional coach is someone who works with a professional level team in his or her sport. These positions generally require a bachelors degree in a sports related field. Nearly all will require the applicant to have played at a college or semi-professional level, at minimum. Many professionals will have played at the professional level before becoming coaches.
An educational coach is someone who works in a school with children or teens. These people will also be teachers. They will possess a teaching degree with a specialization in sports. They will also be trained in CPR, sports safety and coaching fundamentals.
A more informal coaching position such as with a local children's or adult team often will just require a love of the game and knowledge of the sport. These positions are often volunteer but are good for experience.
Degrees for Coaching
A bachelor degree for coaching may include sports science, nutrition and fitness, physical education, kinesiology and physiology, sport medicine or exercise. This is in addition to a teaching or educational degree for school coaches. Most head coaching positions will require a winning record and years of experience in lower level coaching positions.
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