How to Become a Coach

Rachel Sandler, Assistant Coach of Cross Country and Track & Field at Bryn Mawr College, writes on Women in Coaching – the blog about how to become a coach. As women coaches, we can become resources for each other and for other women looking to pursue coaching as a career. What are we doing to make ourselves available for networking and mentorship?

Click here to read her original article, excerpt from the article below:

Published March 4, 2013

1) Follow your passion. I was a math major in college and then went on to work at various consulting firms, crunching numbers in Excel at all hours of the day and putting together PowerPoint presentations. While this path followed my skills, it certainly wasn’t the road to my passion for running, being outside, and engaging with and helping others. Coaching, on the other hand, certainly fulfills these desires.

2) Update your resume. By the time I was 27 (which was the time I started looking for a coaching job), my resume was full of phrases like “Trusted advisor on employer health and welfare programs” and “Assisted biotech and pharmaceutical companies in defining, creating, and executing commercial development strategies.” These have nothing to do with coaching cross country or track, right? So I revamped my resume to bring in as much as I could about my experience as a runner, running camp counselor, team captain, student athletic trainer…anything I could to show my experience and potential skills to become a coach.

3) Contact potential employers and be enthusiastic! I e-mailed approximately 80 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area, high schools, and neighborhood track clubs asking for assistant coaching positions, paid or volunteer! I heard back from many head coaches who, even though they didn’t have a need for a coach at the time, were impressed with my passion and enthusiasm and said they would hold onto my resume (and I have actually received e-mails from them throughout the past couple of years asking if I am still available)! I was lucky enough to hear a response from Bryn Mawr College and have been working there as the Cross Country and Track & Field assistant ever since. It has been an unbelievably great fit for me, and while I was hired due to the timing of the team’s needs (the new head coach was looking for a new assistant), I also know that my background in the sport and passion for wanting to become a coach had something to do with it as well :)

4) Create a network. Join every LinkedIn group you can that has something to do with your sport, the coaches and administrators in it, and the skills behind it. “Like” the same organizations on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Go to clinics and conventions and meet people (I even had my own business cards made up for this purpose). E-mail these contacts every few months, even if just to say hello.

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