Bryan Lockley- Coaching Photo

When watching a sporting event, most of the focus revolves around the players and their abilities to score, shoot, dribble, and kick. One key component to a team’s success, usually refraining from the spotlight, is the person standing on the sideline, the coach. While many teams come with a great deal of talent, coaches are the brains and backbone behind showcasing and collaborating skills of players in the most efficient way. Being a coach comes with a great deal of responsibility and certain innate skills needed to maneuver the machine that is a team.


Those wanting to become a coach should not only possess certain personality traits but most organizations require obtaining certifications before hitting the field. As many other professions expect, gaining experience plays an important role in establishing a coach’s authority. Getting started in school, club, or even recreational levels of coaching opens the door for various other opportunities. As a coach continues to work with higher level athletes, their knowledge of the sport grows, and will likely result in a need for specific training or courses.

At high levels of sporting (collegiate, semi-pro, and professional), coaches are likely considered for a position based on qualifications, degrees, or certificates they have accomplished over the years. Those interested in pursuing a high-level, long-term career in coaching should initially look into obtaining a coaching-related degree. Major universities offer degrees in Sports Management, a path chosen most often by sports fans. This degree is a great foundation for those wanting to coach, but many graduates with the degree end up in sports agencies. More commonly found overseas, but offered at The United States Sports Academy, is a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science, which encases a curriculum more suited for those seeking coaching positions. Having proper qualifications lays great authoritative groundwork for future coaches.

Personal Traits

While pieces of paper proving knowledge of sports and the sciences behind them are great resume boosters, personality and certain traits truly define a coach and how they will lead. One of the most important qualities a coach must have is patience. Unable to physically take action on the field and only having the ability to give verbal guidance poses frustrating in many cases. Especially with younger athletes, finding a way to communicate a vision in a dozen different ways requires deal of patience.

Though many characteristics define a successful coach (too many to list in one sitting), the ability to communicate properly and efficiently ranks highly. Going hand-in-hand with patience, knowing the athletes and their style of communicating is vital in productive coaching. Having the ability to communicate exactly what a player needs to know does not come easy to everyone, so having this skill enhances a coach’s likeability factor. Inspiring athletes is a major part of being a coach and doing so through words creates a crucial bond between coaches and players.

Commonly stereotyped as parents who were forced to volunteer, coaches play an extremely important role in every sport. When a player has a qualified, trained, and knowledgeable mentor to guide them through their passion for a game, their love for the sport continues growing. Someone not possessing certain attributes will likely struggle to maintain a healthy or positive relationship with their team players. Do you have what it takes to become an influential coach?