How to Become a Basketball Coach: Step-by-Step Career Guide
Learn how to become a basketball coach. Research the education and career requirements, licensure and experience required for starting a career in coaching.
Basketball Coach Requirements
Basketball coaches teach their players how to play the game and work together as a team. They organize team practices, supervise physical conditioning activities, analyze individual players, analyze the team as a whole and create game strategies. Coaches are also responsible for guiding and motivating their team towards success. Basketball coaches can work with teams at various levels, including high school, college and professional.
To work at the secondary and post-secondary level, aspiring basketball coaches must usually have a bachelor's degree. They may work for several years as an assistant coach before being promoted to head coach. To be hired at the professional level, candidates need many years of experience as a winning coach or as a basketball player. The table below lays out the main requirements for becoming a basketball coach.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree**|
|Degree Field||Exercise science, physical education, coaching*|
|Experience||Assistant coaching, playing on a basketball team*|
|Certification||Required to work in public schools|
|Key Skills||Communication, leadership, ability to make quick decisions, attention to detail**|
|Additional Skills||At the college level, ability to recruit players*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Monster.com.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Prospective basketball coaches who want to work at the high school or college level need a bachelor's degree. Students have the option to pursue programs in exercise and physical education; however, some schools offer degree programs that specialize in coach training. These programs teach students how to work with athletes and develop game plans, as well as plan and implement physical conditioning and skills development programs. Students also receive training in injury prevention.
- Consider working as a teacher in addition to coaching. Teachers who work in junior highs and high schools may have the best opportunities to coach at that level. Many schools will hire coaches who are already working as state-certified teachers and understand how to educate and communicate with young people.
Step 2: Get Coaching Experience
To be hired in an assistant position, individuals may need to have coaching experience. While in school, students can begin working with basketball teams at many different levels. Working as team manager for their college team could provide the opportunity to learn how a college coach prepares for practices and games. Volunteering as an assistant for a local high school basketball team is another option.
- Learn how to watch game tapes. One of the primary duties of both assistant and head basketball coaches is watching game tapes and breaking down the actions and strategies of teams and players. Watching all levels of basketball games and learning how to recognize various offenses and defenses can be highly beneficial.
Step 3: Work as an Assistant
Individuals often begin their careers as assistant basketball coaches, with increasingly responsible levels of assisting. It's also important to work individually with players both before and after practice to help them improve their basketball skills.
Step 4: Obtain Certification
Some states may require junior high and high school coaches to earn certification. In order to obtain certification, prospective coaches need to complete courses in coaching and pass an examination. Certification may also be required for coaches who are non-faculty members at a school.
Related to How to Become a Basketball Coach: Step-by-Step Career Guide
- Recently Updated
If you're looking for a job, you know the competition is tough. A good career coach can give you the edge you need to land a...
Learn how to become a wellness coach. Research the education, training information and experience required for starting a...
Learn how to become a speaking coach. Research the education requirements, training, licensure information and experience you...
Speaking coaches assist clients in achieving their personal and professional goals by helping them to improve their public...
- Become a Certified Life Coach: Education and Career Roadmap
- Divorce Coach: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- List of Free Online Coach Courses and Certificates
- Job Description of an Employee Relations Representative
- Online Degrees in Elder Law
- Bachelor of Science (BS): Health Care Management Degree Overview
- When College Isn't the Right Choice
- Life Strategy Coach: Education Requirements and Career Info
- Be a Personal Development Coach: Education and Career Roadmap
- Online Masters Degree in Elementary Guidance Counseling
- Student Services Coordinator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA): Graphic Design Degree Overview