Job type

Sports coach

£16k - £35k

Typical salary

18 – 38

Hours per week

Sports coaches teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all sporting abilities.

More info

  • Teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all sporting abilities
  • You'll need excellent communication skills, the ability to inspire confidence/motivate
  • You could become a coach development officer, helping other coaches

As a sports coach, your work will vary depending on who you're coaching and the type of sport you're coaching.


If you're working with schools and community groups, you'll:

  • Plan fun, engaging coaching activities, sessions and programmes in a safe environment
  • Give feedback on performance and help to improve technique
  • Work with young people, schools, community groups and sports organisations to promote the sport

If you're working with young people involved in competitive sport, you'll:

  • Design basic training programmes
  • Work on developing more advanced techniques and tactics
  • Support performers at events and competitions

If coaching at national or international level you'll:

  • Design challenging and varied training programmes
  • Monitor the physical condition and mental attitude of the people you coach
  • Work with experts in sport like sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and programme managers
  • Mentor other coaches


You'll often work in the evenings and at weekends, especially during competitions. You'll usually work long hours if coaching at a high level. Competitions take place all over the UK and abroad, so you'll spend time away from home. You'll work in a variety of places, like schools, health centres, private health clubs and sports clubs. You'll spend a lot of time outside in all weather conditions.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with excellent communication skills, the ability to inspire confidence and motivate, the ability to assess and solve problems, determination and patience, and good organisation skills.

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults and you'll usually need some knowledge of first aid for this role.

You can take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in sports coaching and development, sports and exercise science, sports studies or physical education.

You can also do a qualification at college like a Level 3 Diploma in Coaching. Many courses are specific to a particular sport, for example coaching tennis or basketball.

Alternatively, you can start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in sports coaching.

If you're working in sport already, for example in a leisure centre, as a sports teacher or with a sports club, you can take a professional coaching qualification recognised by the national governing body for your sport.

You could get experience as an assistant sports coach by volunteering for a few hours a week with a club or amateur team. This is a common way to start a coaching career.

Coaching awards are often more important than academic qualifications. But for professional coaching, some employers will expect you to have a relevant academic qualification.


With qualifications and experience, you could become a coach development officer, helping other coaches develop their skills and qualifications.