Online Degree in Sports Coaching: Program Overviews

Aspiring coaching professionals, as well as working coaches, can advance their knowledge of coaching techniques and principles through graduate-level coaching certificate programs. Students can find these certificate programs readily available entirely online.

Essential Information

Online sports coaching certificate programs are offered by many schools. These graduate-level certificate programs are aimed at individuals with at least a bachelor's degree. Most students in these programs are already working coaches who wish to upgrade their skills and knowledge. The certificate programs can be completed entirely through distance learning; there are usually no internship requirements or mandatory visits to campus.

Certificate programs in coaching usually consist of only a few courses and can be completed in about 12 months. The programs are planned to give students a basic knowledge of the organization of athletics, coaching theory, coaching techniques and health. Some programs allow students to choose elective courses that meet their specific needs.

When choosing a certificate program, students should keep their goals in mind and be familiar with the requirements. For example, some sports, schools and jurisdictions require that coaches be certified. Students should make sure that any certificate program they are considering meets the certification standards. Most public schools prefer to pay licensed teachers to act as part-time sports coaches.

Overview of Online Coaching Certificate Programs

There are graduate-level online certificate programs available for aspiring coaches. These programs focus on techniques, strategies, leadership and organization for coaching a number of sports. In addition to general coaching certificate programs, there are also programs available that tailor the curriculum to a specific sport of the student's choosing. The basic coaching principles are established and participants gain an understanding of nutrition, health issues in sports and physical conditioning.

Many who enter into this type of program are already established coaches who desire to further develop their knowledge and coaching techniques. Upon completion of this certificate program participants are eligible to coach recreation leagues, interscholastic sports, collegiate sports, youth leagues and at the professional level.

Program Information and Requirements

These certificate programs can be completed in around a year. Available entirely online, the programs consist of around 12 to 15 credit-hours. Students must hold at least a bachelor's degree prior to enrolling. Students communicate with school workers and consultants via message board or e-mail.

Participants must have access to a computer with high-speed Internet. It is also helpful if the computer has an updated Web browser and operating system. Students will need to have access to Windows Media Player, Adobe Reader and Microsoft PowerPoint to view course materials.

Overview of Online Coaching Certificate Courses

Coaching Theory Course

In this class, students will gain an understanding of the psychology and philosophy of coaching. The course covers sports management, organizing practices, instructional principles, problem solving and motivation techniques.

Recruitment Principles Course

Participants in this course learn about the recruitment process for acquiring secondary school players for collegiate-level sports. Skills acquired include talent analysis and judgement, knowledge of recruitment regulations, negotiation techniques, recruitment budgeting and basic communication.

Motor Skills Course

This class outlines the basics behind the psychological and physiological principles of motor skills and movement. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to use motor programing principles when working with players, giving them advice and instructing on proper movement techniques.

Career Information for Graduates

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 there were 179,830 sport coaches and scouts nationwide. This number is expected to increase by 25% between 2008 and 2018, ( The average annual salary of a college, university or professional school coach in May of 2009 was $48,610, (

Continuing Education Information

For those who wish to enter into the business side of sports, there are master's degree programs in sports management and administration available online. Graduates of these degree programs and find careers as a team manager, sports agent, corporate sports consultant and an administrative position at a fitness center.

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