A masters in coaching online program focuses on preparing professionals who can help others cope with difficult situations in different areas of sport. Coaches teach their students to reach their full potential through hands-on practice and self-motivation. Although coaching does not necessarily teach how to complete a particular task, it uses practical tools and techniques to find unique solutions for learners to achieve their personal or professional goals in sports.
Coaching is also related to other areas such as education, management, training, psychology, social sciences, neuro-linguistic programs, and various forms of counseling. Successful coaches usually learn to apply their knowledge to themselves by first receiving personal coaching. Professional coaching uses various communication skills, including repeating, listening, asking, and explaining. Students who complete an athletic coaching education program will learn how to create their own coaching model based on the individual strengths and insights that people possess. Other hands-on skills include learning how to create class schedules, building awareness of people’s strengths and weaknesses, and analytical and emotional skills.
Masters in Coaching Degree Types
There are two types of coaching masters degrees – the Master of Arts in Coaching and the Master of Science in Coaching. Then there is also a third option – the Master of Education in Coaching.
Master of Arts in Coaching
The Master of Arts or MA coaching online is for students who want the skills and knowledge they will need to build a coaching career that will enable them to make a difference in the lives of athletes and be successful in developing their future sports careers.
Master of Science in Coaching
The Master of Science or MS coaching online provides training in coaching methods through both analytical and independent research. The program teaches students the best strategies to learn and develop their coaching abilities and skills and prepares them to be the best in professional coaching.
Master of Education in Coaching
Another option students can consider for their coaching studies is the Master of Education in Coaching or M.Ed. in Coaching. This degree allows a student to apply different coaching principles and complex techniques in different coaching situations, which are often unpredictable. Students learn to use professional and academic knowledge to implement effective learning in the field of sports coaching and to explore the technical resources available to support the implementation of specific strategies in coaching individuals and teams.
Read more about the similarities and differences between MA vs. MS programs.
Specializations in Masters in Coaching Programs
The masters in coaching online is a professional degree for those interested in coaching and training individuals and teams. The online program also prepares for many career areas that are not directly related to coaching, such as sports management, or health education. Establishing careers in these areas requires specialization, which enhances one’s employability. Specializations in masters in coaching programs also help students choose different subjects in coaching that interest them. Some examples of specializations within the domain of coaching are:
- Coaching and Athletics Administration – The specialization in Coaching and Athletics Administration is designed to provide additional skills to students with a background in educational athletics, such as workout planning, performance improvement, fitness, health promotion, and injury assessment.
- Physical Education -Physical education is a specialization where students are acquainted with the dynamics of different sporting activities. The specialization also offers knowledge and personal training on health and fitness in sports. It enables students to enhance their talent and skills in their respective fields.
- Master of Science in Kinesiology -This specialization focuses on preparing graduates for leadership roles in the fitness, health, recreation, and wellness industries. It includes scientific study in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and the biophysics of human movement.
- Instructional Coaching -In this specialization, professionals work with teachers on regular one-on-one sessions to set goals and identify new teaching strategies to improve both performance and student learning. The course teaches students how to deploy research-based strategies to ensure that their target audience learns the most effective, up-to-date techniques in practice.
- Sport Management -This specialization will help students learn how to overview the business aspect of a sports organization using the latest strategies and technologies. This specialization program prepares students to use critical thinking and skills to solve real-life problems in a sports profession.
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Coaching Online Programs
The masters in coaching online degree are nationally recognized, and students become leaders and excellent coaches at all levels upon graduating from this program. The curriculum is targeted at areas of coaching that directly impact an individual or team’s performance and keep in line with national standards. While the curriculum and coursework can differ from university to university and what specialization the student chooses, most will have similar online masters in coaching courses, some examples of which are:
- Philosophy and Ethics in Coaching -Coaching is a challenging job, and coaches are constantly under pressure to make decisions that impact athletes and teams and sometimes even themselves. The coaching philosophy helps them learn how to interact with the team and athletes. The subject’s purpose is to bring beliefs and principles that coaches can follow to achieve their goals.
- Preventing Injuries and Sports Safety -Coaches have many responsibilities in grooming athletes and teams. They need to teach specific rules and techniques in a particular sport. Athletic ability, teamwork, and personal responsibilities are also qualities coaches want to convey to athletes. Another vital role of the coach is to prevent injury and keep team members safe on the field. This role entails many responsibilities and risks as coaches are responsible if athletes are injured during exercise or training under their supervision. Therefore, coaches must take steps to prevent any injury and maintain the safety of athletes in their care.
- Conditioning -Conditioning plays an integral part in coaching. Since the number one cause of athletic injury is doing too much too soon, the coach must see that training should start slowly and be considered a process. They need to see that exercises and games should start with a warm-up routine. As athletes improve their skills, the coach can increase their sport-specific warm-up time.
- Skills and Tactics -The coach needs to know the best way to maximize the success of an athlete or a team. The team strategy the coach develops depends on the athletes or the team’s skills, and they should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent. The coach’s responsibility is to ensure that athletes clearly understand the team’s strategy during a particular match or game. Tactical decisions are always made in the context of a specific game and can vary from competition to competition due to many factors such as opponent quality, field conditions, weather conditions, etc. A coach needs to see that the athletes speed up tactical skills rather than waiting to learn by experience. They need to ensure that they are exposed to information and expertise to enhance their decision-making capabilities.
- Risk Management
- Preventing Injuries and Sports Safety
- Coaching Ethics
- Philosophy and Ethics in Coaching
- Skills and Tactics
- Sports Analysis
- Research for Coaches
- Sports Psychology
- Sport Law
- Performance and Conditioning for Athletic Coaches
- Analysis of Sport Performance for Coaches
- Management and Leadership in Sport
Students will have to also opt for electives, a list of which includes:
- Contemporary Issues in Athletic Coaching
- Finance for Sport Coaches
- Utilizing Technology in Athletic Coaching
- Performance Recovery: Strategies for Coaches
- Social Dynamics in Sport Coaching
- Coaching Athletes with Disabilities
- Coaching the Elite Athlete
Graduating from a master’s in coaching online program enables individuals to exhibit several skills. Some of them include the ability to:
- carry out the necessary checks on health and fitness levels;
- develop strategies for moral leadership that can be implemented in sporting events;
- evaluate and synthesize evidence-based approaches concerning physiological, sociological, and psychological principles of working with athletes in various sport-related settings;
- develop and deliver coaching programs that cater to a wide variety of groups and needs;
- demonstrate a thorough awareness of current and future coaching trends and concerns, as well as their consequences for the coaching profession;
- examine the impact that behavior has on health, physical fitness, and overall performance;
- investigate opportunities in health and wellness, as well as coaching; and
- understand one’s own self and identity as a coach, as well as the influence of culture, values, and ethics on advanced coaching;
Accreditation for Masters in Coaching Online Programs
Accreditation assures students that a program or institution delivers quality education. Accreditation is accessed by agencies that oversee the academic and administrative quality of schools, educational institutions, and programs and assures quality standards are continuously met. While some universities may not offer a programmatically accredited masters in coaching online degree, the institution as a whole may be accredited by one of the following authorized accrediting bodies:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Some universities offer accredited masters in coaching online – where the degree program is specifically accredited. These may be accredited by independent bodies such as:
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) -The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) promotes fairness and excellence in educator preparation by ensuring quality and supporting continuous improvement to improve P-12 student learning through evidence-based accreditation.
- National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) -The National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) is the leading authority on coaching education in the United States. NCACE provides accreditation and national recognition to sports organizations and schools that train coaches at all levels of competition.
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) -The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the public and the sporting profession by establishing and enforcing accreditation standards that promote quality outcomes, continuous improvement, innovation, and diversity in athletic training education.
Find out why accreditation is a very critical component of higher education from the Accreditation Guide.
Timeline for graduation from Masters in Coaching Online Programs
The length of the online masters in coaching program may vary by university and may also depend upon the course selection and structure of the program. Some universities allow students to study at their own pace, leading to late graduation. Graduation times are shorter for those who choose to learn full-time over part-time. Some universities offer flexibility for employed individuals and allow them to put in fewer hours per week to complete the program, resulting in an extended duration. Typically, online master’s in coaching programs are 2 years and require students to complete between 30 to 36 credits. Part-time students may need 2 to 4 years to complete the degree program.
Masters in Coaching Online Programs Admission Requirements
Applying for a master’s in coaching online program usually requires a bachelor’s degree from a reputed accredited institution. Some institutions or universities may prefer candidates with a background in physical education or with coaching experience. Admission usually does not require a standardized test score, but applicants are often expected to meet certain GPA requirements.
Common admission requirements for a coaching master’s across most universities are:
Additionally, some universities may require proof of language fluency for non-native speakers of English. This requirement is waived for those students who have completed any bachelor’s or master’s degree in the U.S.