How to become a Sports Coach

Sports coaches teach individuals and teams how to improve the way they play and practise their sport by analysing their performances, instructing them in relevant skills, providing motivation and enhancing their capabilities.

Personal requirements for a Sports Coach

  • Thorough understanding of preferred sport
  • Good communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Enthusiastic, disciplined and dedicated
  • Flexible and innovative
  • Prepared to travel and to work long hours, evenings and weekends

Education & Training for a Sports Coach

You can work as a sports coach without formal qualifications. Each sport has its own coach qualification framework managed by the state and/or national governing body. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a background in the specific sport and/or have qualifications in a relevant discipline. You may like to consider a VET course. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.You can also become a sports coach through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.Alternatively, you can become a sports coach by completing a degree in sports coaching, sport development, exercise and sports science, sport management or human movement. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry or physics are normally required. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional information

It is recommended that coaches become accredited. The National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS), coordinated by the Australian Sports Commission (, offers education, training and accreditation to coaches. NCAS training programs include components for both general coaching principles and sport-specific skills, techniques and strategies. These programs are available in more than 70 sports, providing the industry-standard qualification for coaches.

Duties & Tasks of a Sports Coach

Sports coaches:

  • Observe individuals' performances to determine the level of instruction required
  • Teach techniques to help sportspeople acquire additional skills or improve existing skills
  • Supervise practice sessions
  • Plan training programs
  • Supervise athletes' physical development
  • Organise and liaise with sports science support staff
  • Arrange entries into competitions
  • Plan and direct game strategy, sometimes in consultation with club officials
  • Analyse the progress of games or competitions and give signals and instructions to players
  • Carry out post-competition analysis of performance and evaluate strategy
  • Undertake related administrative tasks such as booking venues, organising tours and budgeting
  • Travel with individuals and teams to competitions
  • Recruit players and other coaching staff.


  • Officiating at sporting events to enforce rules
  • Coordinating and directing sporting activities, and liaising with other officials to interpret and enforce rules and regulations relating to sport
  • Motivating Sportspersons and supervising practice sessions
  • Planning and directing game strategies, developing play patterns and analysing game progress
  • Promoting sports and skills development, and overseeing the participation of young people in sport
  • Coaching, training and instructing sportspersons by analysing performances and developing abilities
  • Recruiting players and other coaching staff
  • Arranging entries into sporting competitions

Working conditions for a Sports Coach

Sports coaches operate on a professional (paid) or honorary (unpaid) basis. They usually specialise in a particular sport. The degree of personal proficiency required to coach a sport varies widely, and can include experience as a voluntary junior coach through to an elite coach of a highly commercialised sport.

Employment Opportunities for a Sports Coach

There are limited full-time positions for professional sports coaches. Coaches are employed by sporting clubs and associations, government agencies, government-funded centres (such as the Australian Institute of Sport, state, territory or regional institutes or academies of sport), holiday resorts and centres specialising in particular sports (such as horse-riding schools), swimming centres, health clubs, community institutions and educational institutions (schools and tertiary, for example). In some sports, coaches may be self-employed in a sports training centre that they own or lease. Many sports coaches also work on a voluntary basis.There are sports that have coaching development officers who are responsible for coordinating the many part-time and voluntary coaches who contribute to the sport. Job opportunities depend on the number of people playing various sports, corporate sponsorship and media coverage of sporting events, the performance of Australian sporting teams and individuals and the level of community interest/involvement in these performances. Other factors include the acceptance of sports as part of a healthy lifestyle, the amount of money available to sporting clubs, the effectiveness of sports promotion, as well as the trend towards professionalism in many sports, including football, basketball, baseball, netball, hockey and soccer.


Sports Coach

Sports coaches teach individuals and teams how to improve the way they play and practise their sport by analysing their performances, instructing them in relevant skills, providing motivation and enhancing their capabilities.

  • Average age
    Average age
    23 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    50% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    46 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    19% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    39,700 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 2.4%
    NSW: 29.9%
    NT: 0.4%
    QLD: 17.4%
    SA: 6.2%
    TAS: 1.5%
    VIC: 31.4%
    WA: 10.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 33%
    20-24: 22.6%
    25-34: 13.3%
    35-44: 12.6%
    45-54: 10.5%
    55-59: 3.5%
    60-64: 2.1%
    65 and Over: 2.4%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 8.4%
    Bachelor degree: 14.7%
    Below Year 10: 3%
    Certificate III/IV: 10.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 3.4%
    Year 10 and below: 16.4%
    Year 11: 8.4%
    Year 12: 38.3%
    Years 11 & 10: 17.2%
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