T Nation

Advice on Getting into Coaching/Fitness



One of my buddies is considering getting into sports coaching. He has a great wrestling background and a degree in education. I've seen him in action enough to know he could be a really topnotch pro so I'm encouraging him.

Those of you in the business (and I mean that as doing it professionally as your primary source of income) what advice should I pass along to him? He is planning on getting a kinesiology degree. I suggested taking as many classes for physical therapy as he can get. I figure that one of the niches in the industry would be helping athletes who have been rehabbed post injury get back into playing form. I think he'd be stellar at this.

Here is a list of questions for y'all

  1. What is your primary focus? Is it better to specialize in a sport or thing. E.g. Football vs. types of agility or strength training?

  2. What part of the industry provides the most income for you? Hands on? Lectures? Webinars? Books? Certifications? What is your business model?

  3. What part of the industry is a dead end? (I suspect that the usual one on one fitness training you see at gyms is simply not sufficient for a career, but what do I know).

  4. What do you see is the most vital skill set that you need? I mean, whom do you call in on a regular basis? Chiropractors, physical therapists, movement analysts (or whatever they are called officially), masseuses?

Thanks in Advance!

-- jj


I'm a little confused here to what your friend wants to get into.

You mention his wrestling background, does he want to coach specifically wrestling?

Or is he going looking for a strength and conditioning type role?

I considered becoming strength coach, but I have decided that coaching football is a far more fulfilling career. It incorporates the strength training I love, and you get to see it in action, in the greatest game on earth.


I mentioned his wrestling background because that's what he's done. I think he is more interested in doing coaching across multiple sports and that was part of my question -- is that realistic? Or is it better for him to specialize to one area? Does the world need yet another strength and conditioning coach or is that a dead end as a career move? Don't want him to invest a few years of his time in a program and find out he gets to wash dishes someplace!

Thanks for responding!

-- jj