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Sports

Sports coach

Sports coaches teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all abilities.

Annual Salary

£14,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

2%
Future employment

There will be 2% more Sports coach jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

If you're working with schools and community groups, you'll:

  • plan fun, engaging coaching activities, sessions and programmes in a safe environment
  • give feedback on performance and help to improve technique
  • work with young people, schools, community groups and sports organisations to promote the sport

If you're working with young people involved in competitive sport, you'll:

  • design basic training programmes
  • work on developing more advanced techniques and tactics
  • support performers at events and competitions

If coaching at national or international level you'll:

  • design challenging and varied training programmes
  • monitor the physical condition and mental attitude of the people you coach
  • work with experts in sport like sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and programme managers
  • mentor other coaches

Working environment

You could work at a university, on a sports field, at a fitness centre, at a school or at a college.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
University

You can take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports coaching and development
  • sports and exercise science
  • sports studies
  • physical education

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You can do a qualification at college like a Level 3 Diploma in Coaching. Many courses are specific to a particular sport, for example coaching tennis or basketball.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in sports coaching.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

If you're working in sport already, for example in a leisure centre, as a sports teacher or with a sports club, you can take a professional coaching qualification recognised by the national governing body for your sport.

Volunteering and work experience

You could get experience as an assistant sports coach by volunteering for a few hours a week with a club or amateur team. This is a common way to start a coaching career.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You'll usually need some knowledge of first aid.
  • pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults

More information

Career tips

Coaching awards are often more important than academic qualifications. But for professional coaching, some employers will expect you to have a relevant academic qualification.

Further information

You can find out more about coaching and opportunities from UK Coaching.

With qualifications and experience, you could become a coach development officer, helping other coaches develop their skills and qualifications.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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