Masters Degree in Sports Coaching: Program Overviews

Students interested in studying sports coaching may consider a master's degree in the field or a degree in a related area, like sports management. Learn about the specifics of sports coaching programs, including coursework, as well as career options for graduates.

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Essential Information

Master's degree programs in sports coaching provide training in coaching theory, methods, and ethics through both coursework and independent research. Students may also gain real-world experience through a mentorship program. Sports coaching is often a specialization track within a larger master's degree program, such as sports management or sports science.

In order to apply for one of these programs, students need to have completed a bachelor's degree and may be required to have previous coaching experience. Most programs take one to two years for full-time students to complete. Some are available online.

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Master's Degree in Sports Coaching

Master's degree programs in sports coaching focus on the motivational, psychological and medical concepts that successful coaches must understand. Common course topics include:

  • Sports psychology
  • Nutrition for athletes
  • Sports medicine
  • Sports law
  • Ethics in sports and coaching
  • Sports analysis

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job opportunities in coaching was expected to increase 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is just as fast as the national average. Data from the BLS indicates that the median salary for coaches and scouts was $31,000 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

A master's degree in coaching prepares aspiring coaches for entry-level positions and can enhance the resume of an established coach. Students who want to pursue further education can enroll in doctoral programs in sports management, but a terminal degree is not required for most coaching jobs. According to the BLS, career advancement in the coaching industry is based on experience and prior success. While some sports, such as soccer, require aspiring coaches to earn licenses to coach at different age groups or skill levels, most coaches achieve licensure before pursuing a graduate degree.

Overall, a master's degree in sports coaching can help aspiring and established coaches increase their knowledge of fundamental coaching concepts. Applicants to these 2-year programs may need to have prior coaching experience.

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