How Do I Become a Sports Instructor?

M. Kayo

To become a sports instructor, you need to be physically fit, have a desire to teach others, and be able to maintain a high level of energy over extended periods of time. Educational requirements for this position vary widely from employer to employer, so be sure to check out the specific qualifications when applying. There are a large number of people of all ages interested in learning about various kinds of sports, and a sports instructor is the person who makes this happen. This position may require you to work with individuals, small groups, or teams of players for sports like soccer, baseball, and football. A sports instructor may also need a working knowledge of human anatomy, especially the cardiovascular system.

A gymnasium used for physical education.
A gymnasium used for physical education.

A sports instructor may need a college degree. Typically, employers require at least a bachelor's degree in sports science, physical education, kinesiology, sports medicine, or sports physiology. Some entry level positions only require previous experience in a particular sport or sporting activity. For example, an athlete who played for a professional baseball team and wants to become a baseball coach will likely already have the necessary experience. Some employers may require certifications from government organizations. If so, these will probably vary by country, state, or region.

Sports instructors may coach children in different sports.
Sports instructors may coach children in different sports.

Working with very young children, older adults, and every age in between may be required of those who want to become a sports instructor. The ability to design, set up, and monitor effective and safe exercise routines as well as to provide strategies to improve efficiency and athletic abilities for different age groups may also be part of the job duties. Experience in basic aerobics, calisthenics, and stretching exercises appropriate to age or athletic ability is also important. Knowledge and ability in teaching, coaching, and directing the specific techniques and skills for a large number of sports is crucial for this job. Being enthusiastic, providing motivation, positive feedback and encouragement is another of the basic skills necessary for those who want to become a sports instructor.

Anyone who works in this type of position should have a basic, working knowledge of human anatomy. In particular, anyone who wants to become a sports instructor should be trained in human physiology, muscle function, and proper implementation of exercise programs. Sports instructors also need to know how to conduct and set up tournaments and competitive sporting events. A working knowledge of the principles of exercise science, injury treatment, and injury prevention may also serve you well in this position.

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