Coaching Sports at the School

The one quality all coaches should have in common is respect for the healthy development of their athletes.

Coaches form close relationships with their teams and are often cited as an important, inspiring role models that leave a lasting impact on their athletes.

The certification required by coaches varies depending upon the district and the position. Many districts prefer to employ full-time teachers as coaches. Certification is available for each type of sport and obtaining certification gives an advantage to potential coaches. Previous experience with the sport is often required. New coaches may start as an assistant or at the middle school level. Full-time coaches are usually expected to have a bachelor’s degree.

While coaching positions usually offer supplement pay, some large, successful schools are able to hire full-time coaches for high profile and demanding sports like football. In Texas, the average salary of football coaches is greater than the average teacher salary. A number of news outlets have reported on this including the Star- Telegram which concluded that many head coaches in Texas make almost twice what the average secondary teacher is paid, and a select few are paid more than their principals with a number of high school coached making over US$120,000 per year.

Overall, the average salary for full time coaches is US$28,360 as of 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most schools have a payscale that determines the amount of money coaches and assistant coaches are paid for a given sport. The time that is required to coach the sport is taken into consideration. Pay raises are typically given on a yearly basis for those who continue to coach.

Those who are employed as full-time coaches may work as the school athletic director or coordinator during their off season. Long hours are required to attend as many of a district’s sporting events as possible to offer support. Scheduling sporting events and making sure the needed security and health care services are available is also time consuming.

Coaches hold many responsibilities. Before the season begins, the coach must direct try outs and choose the players. If needed, the coach must instruct the fundamentals of the sport to the athletes. Otherwise, the coach needs to help each athlete reach his potential in a way that does not threaten his health or development. The coach needs to condition the students through the use of drills and other exercises.

Some coaches will visit other schools to watch opposing teams play. This helps them know what to expect and form a specific game plan.

During a game, the coach must decide which players will play and when. They also must quickly decide which plays they should run. Strategic thinking is needed. If the team is down, the coach needs to stay positive, keep the team motivated, and form a new game plan. All of this must be completed in a manner that encourages good sportsmanship.

To create a strong team, it is important for the players to respect the coach. The coach needs to manage the athletes’ behavior during practices and games.

Another responsibility of coaches is managing the team’s equipment and uniforms.

They may be in charge of selecting and ordering new supplies. Inventory needs to be taken and the team’s equipment needs to be well cared for.

More time is spent coaching a team than most people realize. During season, full-time coaches report spending 70 to 100 hours on the job according to This includes working on Saturdays and Sundays with activities like team meetings and reviewing films. Practices and games typically take place from late afternoon to evening. Also, a lot of travel time is involved. In comparison, teachers report working 40 to 70 hours a week.

At times coaches have to deal with parent concerns. Some parents become angry if they do not feel their child is receiving enough play time. Dealing with the pressure of being a fair coach and producing a winning team can be stressful.

Some coaches worry about their job security if they do not produce a winning team. This is especially true in schools with a history of athletic excellence. Also, some coaches are concerned over community backlash if they do not create a winning team. While they know the main purpose of coaching is to encourage the students, there is pressure to win. Anyone interested in a career in sports should see that section of JobMonkey.

Regardless of the amount of income received through coaching, dedicated coaches find true joy in their position. They help individual athletes reach their potential and gain self-confidence. They foster a sense of teamwork and pride while creating unforgettable moments in the lives of the young adults.

More information is found through the following resources.

American Coaching Association

National High School Coaches Association

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