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What Are the Different Types of Sports Coaching Qualifications?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several types of sports coaching qualifications, from having a career as a successful sports star or being a former player to possessing vast knowledge and education regarding coaching sport. Often, it is the sports coaching qualifications that give credence to the validity of the sports program and credibility to the coach and players on the team. Many very successful head coaches come out of the ranks of players and assistant coaches, as do other members of a team's coaching staff. One of the most important sports coaching qualifications is often the amount of experience a potential coach has had on a winning team.

Occasionally, sports coaching qualifications are derived from a winning career as a sports player. Some players go on to coach teams at one level or another at the end of their playing careers. Usually landing a job as an assistant coach — often with the last team they played with —, the players are able to share secrets of the game with new players. Many team owners hope that the veteran player can instill his or love for the game in the younger players. The love for the game, however, is one of the sports coaching qualifications that some claim cannot be taught.

Not all coaching positions are for the head coach slots. Many coaches have sports coaching qualifications that work well with coaching position players. Many retired baseball pitchers coach pitchers in baseball, just as many former quarterbacks are quarterback coaches in all types of leagues.

Former female tennis stars are often selected for their sports coaching qualifications in order to teach up-and-coming tennis proteges. Other sports that commonly use ex-players in coaching positions are hockey, basketball and skiing. Nearly all sports, from bull riding to racing, utilize the talents and knowledge of former participants to mentor and school newcomers in the sport.

Experience alone, however, is not always enough to result in landing a desired coaching title. Many sports programs require a prospective coach to have attended some coaching courses from a reputable and credentialed school. The courses can add psychology, human behavior and strategic capabilities to a coach's resume, and help to define the coach as an all-around mentor to the team. Counseling skills and media skills are often integral components of a coaching position in many levels of the sporting community. Due to the competitive nature of sports, successfully managing anger is another often sought-after qualification for a coach.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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