Where do I start?

So you want to try coaching? That’s great. What do you need to do next?

There is nothing stopping you just from calling up your friends and organising a walk around the park or all meeting in one place in a morning or evening to go for a dog walk together. You could even see if anyone is up for a swim or game of badminton at the local leisure centre! However, if you want to get some experience of what coaching involves, contact one of the following:

  1. If you are a member at a sports club, speak to the coaches and see how you can help out and learn more.
  2. In England, contact your County Sports Partnership (CSP): There is a CSP in every county in England and they are responsible for much of the sport and coaching in your county. You can find contact details of your CSP here. If you are elsewhere in the UK, then Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Scotland or Sport Wales can help.
  3. Contact the Governing Body of sport for the sport you want to be involved in. (Google your sport + ‘governing body’)
  4. Speak to your council/local authority sports department or office.
  5. Have a look at the notices in your community halls and libraries. What appeals to you? Give the activity leader and call and see if they want a hand.
  6. Find out what opportunities there are available in your local area. Look at the Join In website and enter your postcode.

Most people start off by helping out a coach. Having access immediately to an activity or sport group which is already being lead by a coach is a great way to build up your knowledge and your confidence. It is the easiest way to learn all about what coaching is, and gain some experience from the beginning. They should also be able to give you some advice on how they started coaching and learn from their experience. As coaching is so dependant on volunteers you will be assured of a warm welcome wherever you go – just be prepared to get involved!

One more thought. You do not have to start by coaching children. This is a common misconception. Get involved in coaching whomever you feel comfortable with. The most important thing is that you can relate to, and communicate, and empathise with the people taking part.