Master of Arts (MA in Coaching): Coaching Degree Overview

Explore Master of Arts in Coaching programs. See courses that might be featured, and check out popular career options. Examine employment and salary statistics for coaches and scouts.

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Essential Information

A Master of Arts in Coaching program explores coaching methods, strength training techniques and sport psychology. Professional development seminars might allow students to examine the fundamentals of a specific sport. Students must fulfill educational requirements to qualify for admission.

Programs typically consist of 36 hours of classroom study as well as coaching field experiences. They might be offered in an online format. Exercise science laboratories and graduate assistantships might be included.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and some programs require a major or minor in coaching. Additionally, some M.A. in Coaching programs may require previous coaching experience.

Course Topics

The coaching program enhances students' leadership skills and increases employment opportunities. Prospective and existing coaches learn coaching styles and proper training methods, as well as budgeting and fund raising techniques. Sociology of physical activity and principles of effective coaching topics help students to increase marketability. Students explore theories in human performance, program evaluation, administration of sports and mental training for athletes. Courses commonly offered in a graduate coaching program include:

  • Sports safety
  • Measurement and evaluation
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Methods of coaching
  • Social aspects of sports

Popular Career Options

Graduates are prepared to work as coaches or instructors within schools, universities or community programs. They should have the training necessary to teach athletes, hold practices, instill sportsmanship practices, evaluate game strategies and minimize training risks. Common career titles can include:

  • High school coach
  • University coach
  • Private sports instructor
  • Scout

As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for coaches and scouts are predicted to increase by 15% during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). BLS reports from May of 2012 estimate the average annual salary of these professionals was $36,680.

Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, those interested in coaching in public schools may be required to obtain a state certification. They predicted those who are state certified to teach academic subjects will have the greatest chances of obtaining coaching positions within schools.

While a Ph.D. in Coaching is not commonly offered, students seeking leadership roles in physical education or motor behavior may consider a doctoral degree in physical education. The degree is available as a Ph.D. in Physical Education or a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a concentration in physical education pedagogy. Within a doctoral program in physical education, students learn the psychology of physical education and cognitive factors in motor skill acquisition. Coursework may involve research, dissertation or group projects.

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