What Degree is Best for Coaching?

If you are interested in sports coaching you may well be wondering what sort of degree you might need to be able to become a certified and qualified coach. 

When it comes to soccer coaching (or indeed any sport) the main consideration to bear in mind is that you will need to be adept at playing soccer or at least have a very detailed understanding of soccer as a sport and the tactics that can be used to develop a team.

You will then also need to get the relevant coaching certification from an official body. 

Of course, coaching degrees are always an excellent way into coaching, but several other degrees can be used as a base point for which you can build upon with some official coaching training.

With this in mind, we should first delve into a coaching degree and what this will entail, comparing it to the other degrees that can also be used alongside coaching training. 

What degree is best for coaching

Colleges and universities around the world offer degrees in sports coaching, with some specializing in particular sports such as soccer, American football, and other sports.

In these degree programs, you will be focusing purely on coaching and the skills you need. You will likely have to undertake experience during the degree to build upon your skills. 

This is the preferable route to take for anyone who wishes to become a sports coach in any way. Whilst a degree in coaching is the best way to do this, you may also be able to become a coach with a different degree and relevant experience. 

You will still have to undertake a relevant coaching course as you will need to become certified, but this is often shorter than a full degree. The degrees that could lend themselves well to coaching are as follows:

  • Any degree alongside a sports (e.g. Soccer) scholarship 
  • Exercise science
  • Sport science
  • Nutrition and fitness
  • Physical education 
  • Teaching

All of these degrees have components of coaching in them, and all of them have transferable skills that can be taken to an additional coaching course. 

What colleges offer coaching degrees?

Many different colleges in the United States offer many various coaching degrees. Wherever you live in the States, or wherever you want to live, you are sure to find a college coaching degree that suits you. 

Some of the top colleges for coaching degrees include:

  • Syracuse University
  • Washington State University 
  • University of Tennessee
  • George Washington University 
  • Arizona State University 
  • University of Missouri
  • Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus)
  • University of Northern Colorado 
  • University of Sioux 
  • Rutgers
  • Arkansas State University 
  • …and many more 

Of course, if you don’t live near any of these colleges or don’t want to go to any of them, it does not mean you will not be able to study sports coaching at degree level. These are just a handful of the universities that offer sports coaching degrees.

You may well find that there are plenty of others that offer it. You should also bear in mind that you could study one of the courses we listed above at university and still be able to become a sports coach. 

Do not feel limited if you cannot find a sports coaching course that is suitable for you. Instead, you should consider a relevant degree and then undertake coaching training alongside it or after you graduate to ensure you have the qualifications you need. 

Can you get a coaching degree online?

Yes. We are happy to report that you may be able to get a coaching degree online. There are certainly many colleges and universities that offer such a degree.

For example, Toccoa Falls University, University of Louisiana, Southern New Hampshire University, and many more all offer complete degree courses in sports coaching that can be done online, at least to some degree.

Online learning is becoming more and more common, particularly for the theory (written learning) element of courses. In the case of coaching, this may mean that you will study the psychology and science around coaching in a classroom or through an online method.  

That being said, it is worth bearing in mind that to get the experience that is needed in coaching, you will need to practice coaching at actual, live sporting events.

As such, this practical side of a coaching course will be difficult, if not impossible to undertake online. The theory, however, should be able to be undertaken online relatively easily. 

Weigh up the pros and cons for your particular circumstances. If you really must undertake at least some of the coaching courses online, please ensure to get regular practical experience in your sport of choice as a trainee coach.

Your particular course leader should be able to help you gain this experience or at least recommend a way to gain it.