How to Become a Team Sports Coach

From schools to local sports clubs, or even holiday camps if you’re looking further afield, there are a wide range of opportunities available to those looking to start a career as a sports coach. A popular profession, being a team coach is as rewarding as it is challenging. Understanding when to give praise to the full team or certain individuals, as well as the right time to provide extra encouragement, are among the qualities that are needed to pursue this demanding career.

Whether you already have your mind set on becoming a sports coach and are looking to break into the field, or this career path is something you would prefer to find out more about before committing, in this blog, we’ll discuss the main responsibilities that come with this job. Looking beyond this, we’ll also cover how to become a sports coach and the necessary skills required.

What does a sports coach do?

The main purpose of becoming a sports coach is to help an individual or group develop their skills in a particular sport. If you’re looking to become a sports coach, we would recommend researching the different settings you can work in, or try volunteering first. This is because there are a number of pathways to choose from, from working at a local football club coaching U7 and U8’s football, to teaching a different sport within a much larger-scale sports organisation; the possibilities can seem endless.

Whether it’s coaching children, teenagers or adults, as a sports coach, you’ll be responsible for helping people learn and develop the skills they need to progress in their sport, allowing them to improve their abilities and take things to a more competitive level once they’re confident enough to do so, such as a national competition. As you can imagine, being a sports coach can be a highly rewarding career. However, it can require a lot of hard work, as you’ll need to ensure your students get the most out of sessions by planning these in advance, which can involve some trial and error. 

In addition to all this, it will be your responsibility to make sure you have the correct equipment, and that all the relevant safety precautions are in place, before each session. If you’re searching for a way to organise your equipment, we have a few ways to make this easier.

If you’re looking for something to store all your team’s water bottles, this signature Avec drinks bottle holder can help keep them clean and secure during training sessions, travel and matches. Designed with a functional, lightweight and durable build, this team essential will ensure that your team can stay hydrated and perform well.

If you need somewhere to store all your teams’ equipment, why not try a roller bag? Our durable roller bag features in-built wheels and an adjustable handle to make this easy to transport from A to B, while also offering spacious storage with various compartments to help you organise big and small equipment pieces, keeping items secure and in one, convenient place.

How to become a sports coach

Whether you’ve competed professionally in a particular sport for a number of years and wish to share your knowledge with others, or you’re looking for a career change, people choose to get into sports coaching for a wide range of reasons. However, no matter your age, or the reason you’ve decided to take this route, it’s important to focus on how you can kickstart your new career. For instance, you can choose the traditional education route, via an apprenticeship or 

a degree, allowing you to pick up a whole host of essential skills closely relating to the job. 

It’s worth noting that you can also take a special coaching qualification recognised by the governing body for your chosen sport. However, if you’ve already committed to years of competing in a certain sport and you’re looking to start coaching, or you have a pre-existing portfolio of relevant volunteering experience, there’s no harm in reaching out to organisations with an open vacancy to ask if they have any specific qualification requirements to coach there.

Sports coaching apprenticeships 

An apprenticeship is a great way for you to gain a range of practical experience while you’re also learning the more theoretical elements of being a coach. In most cases, an apprenticeship can be completed at college level or through a degree apprenticeship at university. While, depending on the location of the establishment, there will often be fitness centres, gyms, schools, or a choice of all three closeby. Your university or college may have connections with these, helping you find a place to develop your skills while you complete your apprenticeship. 

Sports coaching degrees

Whether you’re looking to return to education, or you currently attend college and are keen to pursue a career as a sports coach, you can study a sports coach degree at some universities across the UK. To study a coaching degree, you will need the relevant A-levels or a suitable BTEC qualification from college in order to progress to this level. However, if you’re returning to education as a mature student and don’t have these qualifications, this may be different. If this applies to you, we recommend getting in touch with your chosen universities to check their entry requirements, as you may need to do a foundation degree to help you build on the basic skills.

Coaching skills and techniques

As well as gaining the necessary qualifications, there are certain traits that are important for a good sports coach to have, which can be developed over time through volunteering and other, less demanding roles before taking the professional route. Essential skills employers will look for in a sports coach include: 

  • Organisation - you will need to be organised from the outset, considering what you’ll  want the students to gain from each session and the skills you’ll teach them to help the pupils reach these outcomes. 
  • Leadership - the confidence, patience and encouragement that comes with being a good leader are all necessary skills that you’ll need to be a great sports coach. Having these traits will allow you to help your students develop their abilities and ultimately achieve their goals.
  • Experience - most employers look for experience, so we recommend volunteering at a local sports club or other local sports organisation before you apply for a full-time role. This is a great way to test the water and can help you decide if coaching is the right career path for you. Volunteering can also help you build the confidence you need

to lead a team, as well as enable you to develop other necessary transferable skills. 

  • Enthusiasm - if you’re not enthusiastic about your profession, it’s likely this will show when you teach your students. In order to help the team or individual you’re teaching to progress to the right level, you need to plan engaging sessions and show a high level 

of enthusiasm and encouragement to make these both enjoyable and educational. 

  • Relationship building -  While some students may learn fairly quickly, it might take others some extra time, which is why it's important to get to know the personality of each and every one of your students. Though it’s good to communicate to the team as a whole, giving individual pupils the time of day can help them build confidence and take their skills to the next level. Another way to build relationships with your students is to create a team identity, which can help provide a sense of belonging and camaraderie among the team.

Looking for something to create a team identity? Look no further than our collection of junior team kits, which can help to create a sense of community and team spirit within your team.

Available in a versatile range of colours and styles to help you choose the right option for your team, our collection of junior team kits feature a range of high quality pieces that are well-ventilated, durable and offer complete freedom of movement. There is also the option to customise your kits with team crests, sponsors and more, in-line with your teams own identity.

Adult & Junior Teamwear at Avec Sport

Whether you’re volunteering as a coach, or you’re about to start a professional career in this area, we recommend investing in some quality kits for your team. The best way to do this is by browsing our collection of junior and adult teamwear and finding the perfect colours and patterns for your team, before then customising to include your team crest and sponsors.