What is a coaching pathway?
A coaching pathway refers to the journey of a coach. For example, it could be the journey from Under 10s five-a-side to managing Wales.
People of all ages, abilities and playing experience can become a coach.
If you’re interested in coaching, get in contact with the relevant National Governing Body of Sport. They will advise you on where to begin, what courses are available and what you might expect in terms of the journey to becoming a qualified coach.
Generally, the Coaching Pathway is structured in levels ranging from Level 1 to Level 4+. Not surprisingly, as the levels increase so too do the technical, tactical and knowledge demands. It is also important to understand that not all coaches will progress to the highest levels. Instead the coach progresses to the level where they feel comfortable and which best enables them to coach their preferred audience.
Example – The Welsh Football Trust Coach Education Pathway
The coaching pathway levels
You should find that most National Governing Bodies will have coach education levels that look like this:
- Level 1 or equivalent: Usually the first step on the NGB coaching pathway. Could also be termed as a sessional or assistant coach.
- Level 2 or equivalent: Usually allows a coach to independently lead a group over a period of time. May also be referred to as a lead or club coach.
- Level 3 or equivalent: Usually working in a talent development or performance coaching environment
- Officiating: Usually those who have a recognised award in refereeing, umpiring, scoring etc.
- Leaders or equivalent: This will normally be a specific NGB introductory leadership award or something like the Community Sports Leaders Awards
In between each level on the Coaching Pathway will be a period of consolidation and practical experience, and it is unlikely that you will be able to jump straight from one level to the next immediately. But every sport is different so do seek guidance from your National Governing Body.
If you know who you want to coach and in what setting, you may even be able to specialise. There are an increasing number of Coaching Pathways offering specific routes for coaches who want to specialise in the coaching of different age groups as well as different disciplines within the sport.
Example – The Welsh Athletics Coaching Pathway
Outside of the formal Coaching Pathway there will be plenty of continuous professional development opportunities in the form of workshops, seminars and tutorials. These training courses provide an opportunity for coaches to supplement their ongoing development.
Contact your National Governing Body who will be able to tell you more.