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Coaching and Sports Training


Coaches and sports trainers guide people to help them achieve specific sports performance goals. Sports coaches and sports trainers work closely with athletes in elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and with professional sports teams. Coaches teach the basic skills required in individual or team sports for amateur or professional athletes. They may work full time during the day and coach part time, such as for Little League or soccer teams. Coaches create and manage practice sessions and drills, evaluating players and helping them to improve their skills, techniques, form, and stamina. They motivate and encourage individuals and teams to improve their performance. Their job also entails handling administrative tasks such as taking notes and keeping records on players and their performance. The Department of Labor reported that there were 224,110 coaches and scouts employed in the United States in May 2015.

The sports coaching industry is a $8 billion business, according to the market research group IBISWorld. From 2012 to 2017 this industry, composed of more than 130,000 businesses, experienced 3 percent annual growth. The sports coaching field is expected to continue performing well in the years to come due to increased participation in sports for health benefits as well as to offset the high cost of college tuition through sports scholarships. Sports camps and academies are growing as parents seek sports coaches and programs to help their children stay active and improve their likelihood of receiving sports scholarships.

Fitness trainers work with people of all ages in health clubs, gyms, fitness or recreation centers, and in yoga and Pilates studios. They lead group classes, instructing students and demonstrating exercises. They also evaluate individuals for their strength and conditioning, and create exercise programs to help people improve their fitness levels. They teach strength training, stretching, and cardiovascular exercises, demonstrate how to use exercise equipment, and discuss other issues such as nutrition and weight control. Group fitness instructors teach group classes such as cardio kickboxing, dance, aerobics, core conditioning with weights, and more. Personal fitness trainers work with individuals to guide them during workouts, often creating workout programs for personal training sessions. There were approximately 237,760 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors employed in the United States in May 2015, according to the Department of Labor.

Athletic trainers are distinctly different from sports trainers in that their focus is on helping athletes recover from injuries through rehabilitation programs. They also help athletes avoid injuries and illnesses while maintaining peak performance. Athletic trainers are employed by professional sports teams, and they also work in fitness centers, hospitals, and physicians’ offices. In May 2015 there were 23,450 athletic trainers employed in the United States.

IBISWorld reported that the personal training industry is a $9 billion business that has been enjoying steady growth since 2011. From 2011 to 2016 it experienced annual growth of 3.2 percent. The recent recession had a negative impact on the personal training industry as many people scaled back on personal training sessions to conserve their money. Industry revenue is expected to increase during the next few years as the economy has strengthened and people will be able to spend money again on improving their fitness.