Sports instructors help clients participate in various sports and fitness activities. They may work for organizations (profit or non-profit) or for themselves by serving clients directly. Depending on the particular employer, some candidates may only be required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and relevant work experience, while some jobs require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in sports science, sports management, or a related field.
Sports instructors may work for professional athletes, after-school programs, community teams, school groups, and many others. They are primarily responsible for helping to improve their clients’ performances in sports and fitness activities; as such, they must be enthusiastic and have excellent leadership and interpersonal skills. They must also be able to plan various sports programs and encourage a positive environment for children, youth, their parents, and all others with whom they work.
Those in this position must be fair and transparent to evaluate clients’ performance and balance criticism with positive and uplifting feedback. They must closely assess their clients’ strengths and weaknesses in order to identify areas which need further improvement, and should also adapt to the needs of their clients in the same fashion. They must also be able to communicate clearly and effectively and encourage clients to develop skills and techniques which are relevant to their own goals and purposes.
Some computer skills may be necessary for this position, as sports instructors may work with computer software to measure and monitor clients’ performances. Some may also serve a liaison function with physiotherapists, nutritionists, doctors, etc. They must always work according to a high legal and ethical standard and adhere to all health and safety requirements, and some employers require sports instructors to pass background checks in order to work with children. They are also encouraged to keep their skills up-to-date by attending various workshops, conferences, college classes, etc.
Sports Instructor Tasks
Teach sports skills to a variety of skill levels, working to provide a positive learning experience.
Interact with family, prospective clients and other groups.
Maintain sports equipment and track usage.
Ensure a safe and hygienic practice environment.
Answer questions about supplies, techniques, safety, and the like.