Sports coach or instructor

What they do

Sports coaches develop the ability, technique and performance of professional or amateur sports people. They teach either individuals or teams how to improve the skills that they need to succeed in their chosen sport, and instruct on the specifics of technique and strategy.

They supervise and facilitate training sessions, plan individual programs for each player, liaise with sports science support staff, oversee competitions or games, analyse their team or individual client's performance, and work with managers to select team members for particular matches or competitions. They may work for sporting clubs and recreation centres instructing the public, or they may work for specific professional teams with high-level athletes.

Working conditions

Sports coaches may work on a professional basis for state or national sporting teams or organisations, or they may work on an honorary and unpaid basis. They usually specialise in a particular sport and must therefore be particularly familiar with its rules and history. They can work either indoors or outdoors depending on the sport they specialise in. They may be required to work weekends, and to attend sporting events which may often also fall on weekends. They may be required to travel interstate or internationally to coach their team.

Tools and technologies

Sports coaches will need to be familiar with the equipment that is used in the sport in which they coach, and may also need to be familiar with sports monitoring technologies, fitness equipment, and other tools used by sports people in their training.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a sports coach or instructor without any formal qualifications. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in sport development, sports or exercise science, or a related field. You may improve your employment prospects if you have experience and/or qualifications in a particular sport.

The Certificate IV in Sport Development is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also complete a degree majoring in sports science or exercise and sports science.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Each sporting organisation has its own coaching qualification framework managed by the state and/or national governing body. Contact the sporting organisation you are interested in for more information.

Learn more about your study options

Required registration and licensing

To work with children in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Communities.

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