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How to Get a Job as a Sports Coach

“Teaching skills and techniques is only 5 percent of the job,” says Robert Ferraro, founder and CEO of the National High School Coaches Association. “The best coaches have a good mind for business and good people skills.” How do you demonstrate these skills? “With background checks, coaching certifications and the technology to produce a coaching video,” Ferraro says. “It’s not just a résumé; it’s a personality test.” Candidates should send their materials to the school where they wish to work, or, in the case of teachers who already work at the school, reach out to a member of the athletic administration or coaching staff.

Interview Questions Submitted by Real Sport Coaches

"Do you work well with others?" - OptiMedica Tennis Coach Candidate (Glen Allen, VA)

"Give an example of a leadership role you were in." - Hermitage Country Club Swim Coach Candidate (Richmond, VA)

"Do you like to work with kids?" - YMCA Swim Instructor Candidate (Brooklyn, NY)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility poor Below Average
Stress Level good Below Average
Flexibility good High

What is the Job Like?

A coach’s job is always in flux. Public and private schools employ most coaches, so most work around student schedules. When the sport is “in season,” practices and games can be scheduled before school, after school and on weekends. The intensity and duration of these sessions vary from sport to sport, school to school and state to state. In addition to the time spent with athletes, coaches log additional hours devising strategies and training methods. “Out of season,” a coach’s job does not simply stop. He or she can spend time on the road scouting out other teams as well as recruiting athletes for the upcoming season. Some coaches also manage the equipment and facility rental necessary for the sport. In large athletic programs, a coach will start out in an assistant position and move up to a head-coaching job, although some never advance beyond the lower ranks of the coaching staff.

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Last updated by Harriet Edleson.

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