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Sports Coaching

Course CodeVRE109
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to be a better Sports Coach

Sports coaches aim to encourage participation in sports and also to help improve the performance of individual athletes and teams. They may work with children and the disabled, as well as professional and amateur athletes. Some coaches work part-time or as volunteers, some are self-employed, whereas others are full time employees of sports clubs. Coaches not only have relationships with the athletes themselves, but often other family members, administrators of sports teams or clubs, other related professionals like sports psychologists, nutritionists and doctors, and in some cases fans and fan clubs. 

Sports coaching can therefore be a very demanding position which takes a lot of effort on the part of the coach to help their clients succeed and remain focused, whilst also dealing with the needs and requests of others. 

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Sports Coaching
  2. Professional Standards and Communication in Sports Coaching
  3. The Coach-Athlete Relationship
  4. Training Roles of the Coach and Athlete
  5. Motivation
  6. Coaching Individuals
  7. Coaching Teams
  8. The Athletic Identity
  9. Children and Parents in Sports
  10. Amateur Vs Elite Vs Professional Sports Coaching
  11. Maintaining Your Motivation as a Coach

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Being able to influence the athlete is the single most important requirement of a sports coach. It helps if you have a charismatic personality but this is not something which can be learnt. Nevertheless, now that the role of sports coach has evolved to become a recognised profession, the role of a sports coach has become much more varied. Different coaching positions call for different skill sets, and some may call for a broader range of roles. It would not be possible for all coaches to be fully adept at all the roles that may be asked of them, but they should at least be aware of what they are and be able to make competent decisions when needed. 

Some of the different roles that may be asked of a coach include: instructor, demonstrator, mentor, adviser, motivator, organiser, planner, leader and others. Sometimes, they are called upon as a friend. Let’s take a look at what some of these roles could entail.

Instructor – coaches need to provide instruction to athletes so they can develop skills needed to succeed at their sport. 

Demonstrator – it’s not always possible or effective to discuss techniques. Sometimes it is necessary to physically show your athletes a particular skill or move they need to learn.  

Mentor – coaches often act as a trusted advisor to athletes under their guidance i.e. ensuring their safety and welfare, being responsible to their family, monitoring their wellbeing during training, and offering support if they have any problems or injuries.

Advisor – advice offered can range from what equipment to use, types of sportswear, or training regimes. Coaches also need to be prepared to answer questions on a variety of sports related topics, and sometimes things outside the realm of sport.  

Motivator – the coach has to keep athletes motivated through good and bad times, after victories and defeats. A coach also has to keep themselves motivated. 

Organiser – coaches may have to organise meetings, arrange training sessions, ensure people are present, and so forth. 

Planner – coaches are required to work out training plans e.g. weekly training schedules. Planning might also extend to when your athletes can use certain facilities or equipment.  

Leader – a coach has to take responsibility and make important decisions. Athletes will look to coaches for inspiration and leadership.  

Assessor – coaches must monitor and assess an athlete’s performance, both in training and in competition. Keeping records and use of assessment tools can help to quantify progress.

Counsellor – sometimes you may have to help an athlete with emotional issues. At other times you might need to get another professional to help with this. 

Facilitator – coaches play a part in finding appropriate competitions for their athletes to enter. 

Researcher – coaches need to stay on top of current trends with regards to training techniques. They also need to be well-informed in terms of rival athlete’s or team’s results, and gather knowledge about the sport both at home and overseas.   

Friend – coaches inevitably develop strong bonds and relationships when they work closely with athletes. As well as successes and victories, athletes may choose to share problems with their coach. If they do, then you must retain confidentiality because you have a professional relationship with them.   

Role model – it is beneficial to athletes if their coach demonstrates positive behaviours and good practices for their athletes to follow. It’s especially important when working with children because they learn a lot by observing and imitating others.   

This course can help you become better at any or all of these roles.

Meet some of our academics

Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
Kieran McCartneyB.A., M.Distance Ed., M.Exercise Science, Dip.Mgt., Dip.English
Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

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