Training and Education
|Recommended Degree Level||Certificate or Higher|
|Number of Jobs, 2012||201,800|
|Annual Job Growth Rate||4.8%|
|Job Openings per Year (est.)||13,300|
What's needed: Some instructional coaches hold only a high school diploma. These individuals generally have previous experience as student coaches or assistant coaches. Those individuals who want to be both teachers and instructional coaches must hold either a B.A. or M.A. degree. Almost all instructional coaches have played on amateur or professional sports teams.
What you study:
Instructional coaches who earn a college degree will generally study all of the following:
- Coaching Philosophy and Practices
- Physiology and Anatomy
- Physical Conditioning and Training
- Teaching Pedagogy
- Sports History
A quick look at coaching careers. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.
A Day in the Life
When you work as in instructional coach, you are responsible for training and motivating athletes at the middle school, high school or college level.
Your biggest responsibility as an instructional coach will be to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of your athletes and then provide those athletes with targeted training. You may run drills and skill clinics in order to help athletes improve their performance. You'll also work with athletes in the weight room and may provide them with basic guidance about how to eat before games, matches and sporting events.
During games and meets, you'll provide your players with the support they need in order to succeed.
At the beginning of each season, you'll be responsible for running tryouts. If you work at the high school level, you will likely need to hold tryouts for both varsity and junior varsity teams. At the end of tryouts, you will assess each athlete's skills and decide if they will be on the team or not. Once your roster is set, you'll help athletes order their uniforms. It's also important that you communicate with the parents of your players so that they know the practice schedule and expectations for each team.
Certifications and Licensing
In most states, instructional coaches must hold a school staff certificate and must pass a background check. Instructional coaches who are also classroom teachers must hold a teaching credential in their state. Credentialing requirements vary from state to state. However, many states now require that new teachers hold an M.A. degree in education or a closely related field.
Full-time versus part-time:
Instructional coaches who do not want to be teachers generally have the flexibility to work part time if desired. Coaches who are teachers must work full time but generally receive one to two months of vacation during the summer.
Instructional coaches who do not work as teachers generally put in coaching time before and after the school day. They are also required to stay late for games and may travel to away games. Coaches who also work as teachers will work the entire school day and handle coaching duties before and after school.
These websites provide excellent information about careers in instructional coaching:
- The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook: This handbook provides basic information about the duties and career prospects of instructional coaches. It serves as an excellent starting point for those individuals who are interested in general information about how to begin an instructional coaching career.
- The National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA): The NHSCA provides resources for both current and aspiring instructional coaches. Job openings and training opportunities are also listed on the site. This is an excellent resource for aspiring coaches who want to network with professionals in this field.
- The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA): The AFCA provides resources and training tools for high school football coaches. The site offers good networking tools for new and aspiring coaches.
- The National High School Basketball Coaches Association (NHSBCA): The NHSBCA provides information about careers in instructional coaching and lists job opportunities for basketball coaches. This site provides excellent teaching resources for both new and experienced coaches.
- Tha National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA): The NSCAA provides targeted resources for soccer coaches in high schools and public sports programs. It offers good networking tools and announcements about coaching clinics nationwide.