Many schools offer fully online master's degree curricula in sports coaching through athletic administration or sport management programs. However, some schools offer hybrid programs that have brief on-campus requirements that usually can be fulfilled during the summer. Students might also have the option to earn a graduate certificate in coaching in concurrence with the degree program.
Applicants to these programs need a bachelor's degree in any field, and some schools require coaching experience and passing scores on admissions tests. For online programs, they may also need to have a dedicated email account. Students can usually earn the degree with one to three years of full-time study. Some programs prepare graduates to earn professional certification.
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Master's Degree in Sports Coaching
Aspiring coaches learn skills related to athletic program management, operations, marketing and financing in this online program, which most often awards a Master of Science in Athletic Administration or Sport Management. Courses are typically provided in a cohort and may have limited enrollment.
Along with a bachelor's degree from an accredited school or university, prerequisites may include experience in the field, letters of recommendation and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogy Test (MAT) scores.
Students need access to a personal computer that connects to the Internet. Program participants should also be familiar with downloading and uploading files, multimedia presentations, videos and software programs. Some schools require enrollees to have a special e-mail account that will be used to access their content management website.
List of Popular Distance-Learning Courses
Course requirements for master-level sports coaching programs vary by school. Along with coaching skills, other areas of focus include marketing, administration and business.
Sports Concepts and Theory
Current philosophies, trends and topics in sports theory are explored. Students also learn legal and ethical guidelines for problem-solving and decision-making while coaching.
Sports Recreation Coaching and Training
This course examines the overall sports profession, along with challenges coaches face in their jobs. Crisis management, fundraising, marketing, recruiting and individualized instruction are some of the areas of concentration.
Sport Administration and Leadership
Students learn the functions, techniques, principles and policies related to managing sports programs and agencies. They also study crucial lessons in motivation, communication, team-building, strategic planning and organizational behavior.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that median annual wages were $31,000 for coaches and scouts as of May 2015. The BLS also stated that job growth in this field is expected to be 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Graduates are normally qualified to apply for certification through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator's Association (NIAAA). The voluntary designations of Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA), Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) or Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) are awarded to candidates who meet specific degree-level, experience and examination requirements. For those desiring doctorate-level education, distance-learning Ph.D. programs are available in sports science.
In online master's degree programs in sports coaching, students study athletic training philosophies and build their communication and leadership skills so that they can train successful teams and individual athletes. Graduates may demonstrate their abilities by earning a relevant professional certification.