Career Detail

Athletic Coach
“Put Me In Coach”
Coaches organize amateur and professional athletes and teach them the fundamentals of individual and team sports.
The Job
Coaches train athletes for competition by holding practice sessions to perform drills that improve the athletes' form, technique, skills, and stamina. Along with refining athletes' individual skills, coaches are responsible for instilling good sportsmanship, a competitive spirit, and teamwork and for managing their teams during both practice sessions and competitions. Before competition, coaches evaluate or scout the opposing team to determine game strategies and practice specific plays. During competition, coaches may call specific plays intended to surprise or overpower the opponent, and they may substitute players for optimum team chemistry and success. Coaches' additional tasks may include selecting, storing, issuing, and taking inventory of equipment, materials, and supplies. Many coaches in high schools are primarily teachers of academic subjects who supplement their income by coaching part time. College coaches consider coaching a full-time discipline and may be away from home frequently as they travel to scout and recruit prospective players. Irregular work hours are the trademark of the athlete. Athletes and full-time coaches usually work more than 40 hours a week for several months during the sports season, if not most of the year.
Work Environment
Those involved in events that are held indoors tend to work in climate-controlled comfort, often in arenas, enclosed stadiums, or gymnasiums. Some sports require you to be outside.
College Majors
sports science, physiology, kinesiology, nutrition and fitness, physical education, and sports medicine
Minimum Qualifications
Head coaches at public secondary schools and sports instructors at all levels usually must have a bachelor's degree.
Personality traits helpful for this career
motivational, responsible, punctual
Quick Facts
  • Motivating athletes to play hard challenges most coaches and sports instructors but is vital for the athlete's success.
  • Persons who are State-certified to teach academic subjects in addition to physical education are likely to have the best prospects for obtaining coaching and instructor jobs.
  • The highest paid professional coaches earn much more in salary.
  • More Info: National Association of Sports Officials, Internet:
Compensation and Outlook
In May 2008, median annual wages of coaches and scouts were $28,340. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,220 and $43,440. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $15,530, and the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $62,660. However, the highest paid professional coaches earn much more.
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