Colleges offer many degrees in sports coaching across the United States. The basic degree for coaching is a Bachelor of Science in sports coaching, sports science or sports leadership. To become a coach, you'll also want to gain experience in coaching and playing sports and examine the requirements for the district or state in which you wish to work. Master's degrees in sports coaching are also offered for coaches with experience who wish to learn more about sports and sports leadership.
Bachelor's Degrees in Sports Coaching
The bachelor's in sports coaching is usually a Bachelor of Science with a major in sports leadership or sports science. Programs typically include courses in fitness, anatomy, psychology and leadership theory. As is the case with most bachelor's degrees, a sports coaching degree takes about four years and required a high school diploma or GED for entrance. This degree can lead to coaching jobs at educational institutions like high schools and universities. Some coaching jobs require further certification before employment.
Master's in Sports Coaching
Master's degrees in this field exist in physical education, exercise science, sports management and sports science. These are generally two-year programs in which students receive hands-on coaching experience. The degree is often offered online for students who already have coaching jobs. The master's degree qualifies graduates to coach in all amateur sports. The program focuses on networking and relationship-building within the coaching profession, mentoring from coaching professionals and development of research and administration skills. Many programs also touch on sports law and basic sports medicine and injury prevention.
Certificates in Sports Coaching
Most high schools require a coaching certification by the state in which you wish to coach. Some colleges also require this. Requirements for certification vary by state, but usually include certification in CPR, successful completion of an exam and participation in a coaching activity through a camp or clinic. If you hope to coach at a high school, check with the district in which you wish to work for their requirements. Certification may not be required at private schools.
How Much Education Do You Need?
If you want to coach at a high school or college, you need a bachelor's degree and possible certification, depending on the state, district and position. Some entry-level team coaching jobs only require experience participating in the sport and give you an opportunity to gain coaching experience before obtaining a degree. Master's degrees are usually sought by those already working in coaching and who want to learn better coaching techniques, network with other coaches and advance in the field.
Based in Portland, Ore., Miranda Sinclair has been writing professionally since 2009. She holds a B.A. in English and theater from the University of Oregon, as well as an M.A. in English and certificate in teaching college composition from San Francisco State University. Sinclair works as a tutor and teacher of writing.