Taking steps to become a track and field coach can provide past athletes and those with a passion for the sport an opportunity to get involved. Most track and field coaching positions have minimum education requirements, require experience coaching and training track and field athletes, and require candidates to obtain various health and safety certifications. Demonstrating an in-depth understanding of track and field and seeking out continuing education opportunities will also help an individual to become a track and field coach.
Coaching track and field often requires candidates to have a basic high school education. Depending on the position applied for, candidates may need additional postsecondary education. This is often the case when applying for track and field coaching positions at colleges and universities.
Beyond basic educational requirements, most candidates should demonstrate experience in track and field. This experience can be gained through participation in the sport as a prior athlete or through experience related to training athletes in specific events, such as shot put or hurdles. Knowledge of the specific athletic needs related to those participating in track and field includes proper stretching routines, training techniques, and the mechanics of body movement.
Employment as a track and field coach will often require training and certification in various health and safety issues. Those looking to become a track and field coach, especially with a school system, will need to take first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes. This will ensure coaches are trained to handle basic first aid, such as treating wounds and sprains, and handle emergency situations while waiting on emergency personnel to arrive on the scene.
Continuing education opportunities and advanced certifications can help someone become a track and field coach. Options for advanced training and certifications often focus on particular specialties within track and field. This includes certifications related to high jump, sprint events, endurance events, and discus throw.
A myriad of other requirements are needed for those looking to be a track and field coach. This includes understanding the administrative aspects associated with coaching, such as scheduling and academic monitoring. Additional knowledge required can include sports psychology, financial management, and travel planning.
When applying for track and field coaching positions, candidates should highlight specific achievements related to the sport. This may include individual awards and medals won during competitions. In addition, any experience working with athletes of varying levels should be noted on applications and resumes.