Sports are activities, performed individually or by team, that normally involve physical activity and skill. It can be practised for both competition and recreation. Coaching is the training process wherein an individual or “coach” supports another person or a whole team in achieving certain goals.
Sports coaching then is the method of instruction and training of athletes or those who participate in sports by sports coaches. Aside from professional athletes, sports coaching is also carried out within schools and communities, helping a wide range of people develop their performance, skills and physical fitness while at the same time maximizing their potential. Some call it a science and an art. Aside from physiology, psychology also plays an important role in sports coaching.
Some sports coaching degree programs have a grade requirement, either from the entrance or standard exam, from previous courses taken in secondary school or sometimes even both. Various leadership experiences and letters of recommendation may also be taken into consideration. Some institutions also require a letter of intent or an application essay in addition to an admissions interview.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
Degree programs in sports coaching often cover topics such as sports science, coaching science, physical education, coaching concepts, physiology, nutrition and psychology. Coursework includes both theory and practical work, and students may be asked to take career placements or internships in their third or final year. Some schools may also require students to submit a dissertation involving research and practical knowledge to complete the degree.
Most universities provide specialization options for their students, either through optional electives or as a mandatory part of the degree program. However in the field of sports, specialization is gained through experience in and exposure to different sports.
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates.
Depending on where they want to practice sports coaching, graduates of sports coaching degree programs might be required to obtain licensing or certification to be able to practice as sports coaches or trainers.
A bachelor’s degree in sports coaching can typically take around three years of full-time study. The exact period of time would depend on the university of your choice and the country wherein it is located.
There are also various degrees available for sports coaching graduates at the graduate level. Master’s programs are available for those looking to deepen their knowledge of the field. These programs can also make way for specializations or concentrations. Acceptance into graduate programs normally depends on the applicant’s education (level and grades) and professional experience. Master’s programs usually take one to two years to complete.
Graduates of sports coaching programs can pursue employment in professional sports coaching. Aside from coaching professional teams and athletes, graduates can also look into positions that are available in community and youth programs, or schools. Another possible path for sports coaching graduates is fitness coaching. Fitness coaches can apply for roles in gyms, fitness centers and fitness media companies. Some fitness coaches are also able to pursue their careers as self-employed individuals by building their own clientele.
For coaches, typical work includes assessing the status (including their strengths and weaknesses) of clients, creating and running personal training programs for them, evaluating their performances and providing feedback, encouraging them to develop their skills and techniques.
Sports coaching graduates will find that transferable skills gained throughout the degree program can be applied in pursuing their career paths, whether it be in coaching or other positions in the sports industry. These skills include effective leadership, communication and project management.
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