Become a Coach

So you want to become a coach?

Becoming a certified coach is an exciting process that begins your journey into a rewarding and challenging field. It is important to emphasize that some of the best coaches have not been elite athletes themselves, but have developed strengths in key areas such as motivation and communication with athletes, and demonstrating leadership through exemplary behaviours on and off the playing field.

What does it take to become a coach?

  • Enjoy working with people.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work within a team environment.

  • Ability to lead effectively.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Critical-thinking skills.

  • Love of sport.
  • Ability to be creative and to improvise.
  • Desire to make a difference in a person’s life.

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) focuses on the general framework of athlete development with special reference to growth, maturation and development, trainability, and sport system alignment and integration. Based on the physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive development of children and adolescents, each stage reflects a different point in athlete development.

The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), launched in 1974 and delivered in partnership with the government of Canada, provincial/territorial governments, and national/provincial/territorial sport organizations, gives coaches the confidence to succeed.

When you take an NCCP workshop, you’ll not only gain sport-specific technical abilities, but also leadership and decision-making skills. NCCP training will open doors to new opportunities in coaching and in life.

How to get started?

A sport you love, have played, or are interested in, is the best place to start. For parents, a sport your child is currently playing is a great choice as well.

Do I need to know all the technical stuff about the sport?

Absolutely not. All coaches in Canada receive training through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). Your sport has a 1-2 day NCCP course that will teach you all the technical skills you need to coach in a given Context (age range, competitive level).

Ok coach, you’ve got your sport and you’re ready go. Next up is locating some athletes.

Here is how to find a club:

  1. If you are already connected to a club (you’ve played there, or your child plays there) start with that club
  2. If someone you know coaches at a nearby club, that’s the second best place to start
  3. Third option is a quick google search of nearby clubs for your sport
  4. If you’re total stuck, contact your Provincial Sport Organization

Now, reach out by phone or email to your club contact, clubs admin, or coaching friend with a message about volunteering as a coach.

Starting as an Assistant Coach to an existing Head Coach is a great way to begin. It usually involves less commitment, provides you with an experienced mentor, and gets you involved right away. Many head coaches will take on an assistant mid-season.

Developing as a coach can take on many forms: NCCP training, mentoring, reading, events, and of course coaching experience.

Depending on your sport, you may be able to start right away as an assistant coach. Other sports require a few more NCCP courses before starting. Almost all head coaching positions required sport specific NCCP training.

If you need any help identifying your coach education pathway, speak to the CAO by phone (416) 426-7086 or by email education@coachesontario.ca

You have a sport, a club, and some training. Time to get out there and start coaching.

Continue your Development!

Welcome to the big wide world of coaching. You’ve started on your path, had some successes, but know there is so much more to learn. With all the books, events, videos, and courses where should you start?

Coach Initiation and Sport Information

Coach Initiation in Sport is an online NCCP module developed to introduce new or experienced coaches to the foundational skills in coaching, such as long-term athlete development, ethics, coaching motivation, and athlete safety and wellness.

Take the eLearning: Coach Initiation in Sport

You will be required to login to the Locker with your NCCP#. This module costs $15.00.

Take the eLearning Module