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For those who have a passion for coaching sports persons and athletes, a masters in coaching online is the right program that can help them make a difference in the lives of athletes and those dreaming of being the best at a particular sport. Pursuing an online coaching masters can make prospective students the best in the business and give them the expertise to be successful in coaching any individual or any team – amateur, college, or professional. This page examines every aspect of a masters in coaching online degree program and what careers one can pursue after graduating from this degree.
www.onlinemasterscolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
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The best online masters in coaching programs emphasize the practical application of powerful academic content and provide the tools needed to guide and influence the performance of individuals or teams. This program helps students develop an ethical and effective leadership style and helps athletes prepare to reach their goals while also guiding individual and team performance. Online masters in coaching degree programs also address areas such as education, management, training, psychology, social sciences, neuro-linguistic modules, neuroscience, and various forms of counseling. Here are some of the best coaching masters in the United States:
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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. MSprograms.
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.
Preventing Injuries and Sports Safety
Philosophy and Ethics in Coaching
Skills and Tactics
Research for Coaches
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)
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.
Masters in Coaching Online No GRE Programs
Most colleges in the United States require a GRE score to enroll in a master’s degree program. While this is also usually the case for coaching master’s programs, colleges have increasingly done away with this requirement in recent years. Therefore, depending on the university and the program structure, it is possible for students to apply for a masters in coaching noGRE program, provided they meet other prescribed admissions criteria. A couple of examples of such programs are:
Ohio University– offers a Master’s in Coaching Education Online that does not require a GRE score.
It is not uncommon for a university to offer a masters in coaching that can be completed in less than two years. Students can reduce the completion time by choosing a fast-track program or using credit transfers. Some universities offer accelerated online masters in coaching to help applicants complete the program faster than the usual two-year schedule. Here are some examples of universities offering an accelerated online masters in coaching:
Adams State University – Colorado -Adams State University offers an accelerated online masters in coaching and has a wide range of courses that provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become high-profile coaches.
Louisiana State University -Louisiana State University offers an accelerated online master in science in coaching program where the student can complete the course in one year.
Angelo State University -Angelo State University offers affordable online accelerated masters in coaching. Any student who has an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, athlete training, sports science, or a sports-related field can apply.
Free Coaching Courses Online
Many universities offer free masters in coaching courses. Although these free courses do not grant a degree, they do help students get information and understanding of what to expect when enrolling in a masters in coaching program. Some examples are:
Coursera -Coursera is a platform that offers free courses that provide coaches with practical sports science insights to successfully train young athletes and develop their sports potential while avoiding injury and helping them increase their knowledge of various sports.
Udemy -Udemy offers several free coaching courses, with many also available at reasonable rates, on a wide range of topics connected to sports, sports injury, sports strategy, etc.
The Open University – Open Learn -Open Learn offers free courses revolving around varied subjects of sport and fitness. Students explore the art of coaching and psychology through successful coaches. Courses focus on coaching practices, including research and advice from leaders in their fields.
How to Pay for Masters in Coaching Online Programs
Online masters in coaching programs are readily available throughout the United States but are often expensive to pursue. Students need to plan their budget for boarding, stationery, transport, food, etc., alongside tuition fees. However, students who opt for online programs have a lesser burden on expenditure, not having to factor in such components in their budget. Nevertheless, they need to pay tuition fees increasing every year and costing thousands of dollars. Fortunately, financial aid provided by universities, the Federal Government, and other sources often ease the cost burden to a large extent. Listed below are a few sources of such financial aid for students to consider:
Scholarships, often awarded by universities, religious institutions, bursaries, individuals, etc., are payments made to assist students’ education. There are various types of scholarships, the most common being merit-based scholarships. Students who have an excellent academic record are eligible for merit-based scholarships. (Read about Scholarship Scams to avoid being scammed online.)
Grants are a form of financial assistance given to students on a case-to-case basis, depending on their financial needs. Grants usually are need-based and can cover all education costs in addition to tuition fees.
Graduate assistantships are provided against a stipend or a partial fee waiver for students who work part-time in the same institution as assisting faculty or students in teaching, projects, or workshops.
A student loan or education loan is a sum of money a student borrows from banks or financial institutions to fund their education-related expenses, which covers the cost of tuition, books, educational supplies, and living expenses while the borrower is in the process of pursuing a degree. Education loans have a low rate of interest as compared to other loans. The student has the flexibility to repay the loan after completing the program. However, loans are sanctioned based on the student’s eligibility criteria, and missed repayments have serious ramifications.
Scholarships for Masters in Coaching Online Programs
Scholarships are awards that need not be repaid and are usually given to students who have an excellent academic record or have excelled in other areas such as sports. Ethic groups and specific communities and religious organizations, and even online masters in coaching schools, give out scholarships to their members who are students. Here are a couple of scholarships coaching masters students can explore:
The National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation (NSCAF) offers scholarships to those in educational and research pursuits that enhance the practical application of strength and conditioning. Prospective candidates must be a member of the NSCA at application. Award Amount: Varies | Application Deadline: August 01 to October 15, annually
FAQs about Coaching Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a masters in coaching degree?
A master’s in coaching degree uses effective tools and techniques to find unique solutions for students to achieve their personal or professional goals in sports training and coaching. Masters in coaching online degree programs have various courses in diversified areas such as education, athletic training, psychology, neuroscience, neuro-linguistic programming, social sciences, and counseling.
Do I need to be an athlete to get a masters in coaching degree?
It is not necessary to be an athlete to get a masters in coaching degree. However, it helps when students have experience in sports or exhibit a natural talent for sports. Since not all athletes and sportspersons may be excellent on the field, becoming a coach is a wise choice. For such people, the online masters in coaching is a perfect fit; it trains students to have a clear understanding of sports training, strategy, and performance to turn them into expert coaches.
What can I do with a masters in coaching degree?
After graduating, one can expect to be an assistant coach or a specialist coach in an area relevant to their degree program. As a coach, a graduate can work on strategies to increase athletes’ skills and capabilities and develop their strong psychological traits both on and off the field.
Is a coaching master’s degree worth it?
Coaching is a high-paying job, which is why completing a master’s program in coaching is worth it. Since there is an increase in high school enrolment and a rise in student-athletes or children and adults who take up a sport, there is a very high demand for coaches.
What is the difference between athletic coaching and sport coaching?
Athletic coaches primarily deal with athletes (track and field) and are responsible for their players’ performance, health, and safety. They also treat ailments and minor injuries of individual athletes or athletic team members. On the other hand, sports coaches are responsible for the on-field training, tactics, technique, management, games, etc., of sports teams like hockey, football, baseball, basketball, etc.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters in Coaching Graduates
One of the biggest aspects of American culture is sports and it has become a passion for students to either become athletes or very successful coaches. With so many national and international clubs and organizations across the country looking for individuals who are passionate about coaching, sports science, and physical fitness, graduates of online masters in coaching can easily become employable with high salaries. According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a predicted increase of 26% in employment for coaching jobs between 2020 and 2030.
Students who complete a coaching online masters can land work as an assistant coach or senior coach with national and international clubs, sporting organizations, or educational institutions. Apart from coaching sports persons on the field, they can work in administrative and leadership roles and also be part of the recreational sports industry. Listed below are a few typical roles masters in coaching graduates take up after graduation, along with their annual median salary as reported bySalary.com:
Personal Trainer – $63,961 -Clients who prefer one-on-one sessions prefer a personal trainer. Personal trainers help clients exercise using specific workout routines and plans. They provide personalized health, diet, and exercise advice as well.
Sports Performance Coach – $34,523 – Sports Performance Coaches are professional coaches for athletes, sports teams, corporate teams, university teams, or school groups and work closely with them to improve their performance. They play an important role in encouraging people to participate in sporting activities. A sports performance coach’s main aim is to improve skills by identifying, planning, and implementing training programs.
Sports Therapist – $78,054 – Sports Therapists specialize in sports and exercise-related injuries. They give advice on how to avoid injury in the first place. They are trained to conduct fitness tests on people involved in sports or exercise and specialize in providing emergency aid in a sports environment. Sports Therapists also help clients develop strategies to avoid serious injuries while engaging in sporting activities.
Fitness Instructor – $43,656 -Fitness Instructors are generally personal trainers who conduct training and fitness programs for individuals and groups. They assign clients to exercise routines and weight loss programs based on their needs, and monitor their progress, helping them to reach the client’s goals.
Gym Manager – $42,475-Gym Managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of all the activities, facilities, and fitness equipment within the center. They are responsible for hiring fitness trainers and ensuring that members enjoy their workout sessions in a safe environment.
Athletic Coach –$55,823 -Athletic Coaches are responsible for conducting workouts and training sessions for individuals and teams. They also monitor individual and team progress to optimize the best possible performance in competitive sports.
Here are a few other examples of career titles and average annual remuneration that online masters in coaching graduates can expect:
Certifications and Licensing for Coaching Graduates
A masters in coaching online helps students build confidence in clients, recognize talents, and add quality and strength to their coaching career. Generally, a master’s in coaching is sufficient for starting a coaching job as most graduates will not require additional certification or licensing. However, those who wish to teach in schools may require undergoing some educational training and certification.
Additional Resources for Coaching Professionals
A coach should always have new ideas and strategies to compete in the sports industry. Additionally, research and analysis play an important role in being a successful coach. Therefore, adding extra resources for enhancing knowledge in coaching is always an advantage. Here are some excellent resources for online masters in coaching students and working professionals:
Sports Coach America– Sports Coach America is a resource for sports coaches that assists them when faced with a professional or personal life transition and helps improve their skills in leading a team or sports program.
National Federation of State High School Coaches Association (NFHSCA)-The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHSCA) sets competition and playing rules for high school sports teams across the country. More than 18,500 high schools and 11 million students participate in sporting programs, thanks to the organization and its member associations. Members are eligible for state, sectional, and national honors, insurance coverage, and an online learning center with sports-specific coaching courses.
i9 Sports – i9 Sports provides training and a variety of sport-specific skill videos, ideas, strategies, and skills needed to compete in and win any game. i9 Sports offers extra resources coaches need to be experts, whether on the field or off it.
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) – The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a professional organization that aims to advance the strength and conditioning profession. It has over 45,000 members and trained professionals. Publications, continuing education webinars, career assistance, scholarship and grant applications, and savings on products, services, and events are all available to members.
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