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If you’re looking to hire a great sports coach in your school or education facility, then consider these factors before you start the hiring process:

From suitability to personality, having the enthusiasm and the skills to teach sport in schools, there are many different elements that form a fantastic sports coach that motivates and actively encourages students.

Personality and priorities

When interviewing for potential sports coaches, or just when initially researching what you need for your school, one of the first things to look at is the kind of personality you need when it comes to adding an educator to your facility. A great coach, especially for primary school sports, will be upbeat, highly communicative and capable of supporting numerous students with activities at the same time. These traits will not just encourage children to become interested and involved in physical activity, but will also help struggling students in developing fundamental fitness skills.

It’s essential that any sports coach’s main priority is developing your students’ understanding and ability in physical skills and activities, particularly ones that promote teamwork, active play and ongoing skill building in all pupils. These skills are invaluable for future development.

Good on paper

Alongside a winning personality, there are several vital qualifications, checks and legal requirements to consider when hiring a sports coach. The first thing to check for is whether your prospective coach will pass the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), an essential for any professional who will be working with children in an education setting. This check ensures that your candidate is suitable for the role, especially when working with vulnerable individuals.

Secondly, to ensure that the coaching candidate you have selected is as capable in person as they are on paper, the minimum standards for deployment of coaches should be considered. The full information is available through the UK Coaching website, though the basics include meeting a minimum age, holding appropriate qualifications and providing sufficient safeguarding to vulnerable parties including children. These factors help to find the best potential applications for a role and can provide the springboard or basics for any in-house policies or rules you’d like to include if they are employed by you.

Schools are really, really important. It gives you access to every kid in the country. It gives you a massive pool of people to see who might be talented at different sports. It allows kids to try sports. Kids can be inspired all they want, but if they can't go out and try a sport, then it's no good.

— Alistair Brownlee MBE - British Triathlete

Variety and versatility

The majority of a sports coaching role will involve directly interacting with children generally on a daily basis. As such, it’s important that your coach can get to know their students and get a good idea of the best physical activities and sports to action. A coach who can offer versatility by making sure each sport is a good fit for the pupils involved is key to a positive and encouraging sports lesson, further encouraging activity and physical fitness.

Inclusivity of all ability levels and skill sets during sessions is also increasingly important for coaching, so any good candidates should be able to indicate working with children of varying ages and skillsets with success. Involving all pupils helps to build additional communications and teamwork skills that are key to proper learning and development.

High level of commitment

Lastly, when searching for the perfect sports coach, it’s also imperative to opt for candidates with high levels of energy, enthusiasm and commitment for their chosen career. Consistency and ongoing development is key for students, so a coach who is very involved and interested in the sports they teach and the students they develop is of great importance.

A committed coach produces committed students – and encouraging a diverse and inclusive timetable of activities, with a basis in teamwork and fitness, offers both a positive outlet for children and promotes physical activity as fun. Curriculum-led sessions can provide both stability and variety for students, encouraging them to develop exceptional motor skills and improve their confidence in both sports and fitness activities.

If you’re considering hiring a great sports coach for your school facility, at The Little Foxes Club, we pride ourselves on our enthusiastic, inclusive and innovative approach to children’s sports education; using anything from fun games to teamwork based sports to encourage the development of valuable skills and self-confidence.