Suzy Millard

Job title Children's sports coach

Employer Star Hotshots

"Coaching children: rewarding!"

Helping children develop a range of skills through sport is an excellent and enjoyable way of making a living, explains Suzy Millard.

Explain what you do as a children's sports coach...

There are diverse roles and responsibilities for every children's sports coach. Star Hotshots run PE lessons in primary schools, after school sports clubs, birthday parties on the weekends and holiday camps during the school holidays. The holiday camps are for children aged 5 – 13 years old, so it depends which age group you are working with. As a coach you are aiming to develop the child's fundamental movement skills and sports skills. Also you aim to develop the child's confidence by performing successfully in a wide range of physical activity, rhythmic and sport situations. Finally you also want to help provide the tools for the child to take part in physical activity and sport, both for healthy life-long enjoyment and for sporting success. The birthday parties are great fun because the main aim is really for the children to have fun and be active. When Star Hotshots work in schools we plan content to meet the National Curriculum requirements. The aim during these sessions is to personalise the learning to ensure the pupils participate in challenging but achievable tasks.

What do you enjoy about your role?

Children are very quick learners and the progress they make, with the right guidance, is very rewarding to both the coach and the child. Working with children also means your 'work place' is a fun and enjoyable environment because the children enjoy the sessions you deliver. The work environment is always changing and you are faced with challenges during every session.

They say never work with children or animals... is it challenging?!

The British weather can cause a few problems. If it is very cold it is difficult to motivate children while the same occurs if it is very hot. Most coaching positions are based on an hourly rate. Star Hotshots pay £25 an hour for birthday parties so if you run a few each weekend it works out ok really. It is important to plan sessions and be able to adapt. As a result, it can be time consuming, but all planning helps because every session I learn something new that improves my ability to deliver effective sessions.

What qualifications or skills do you need?

It is important to gain experience observing, volunteering and assisting coaching sessions first. Learn something new in each session you either watch or deliver. Keep a record of games, drills, practices children enjoyed and consider why they worked well. You can gain qualifications via Sports Leaders, Sports Coach UK or you can go to university and study a degree in Sports Coaching. If you are looking to go to university look to see if the degree 'accredited' to Sports Coach UK. Most National Governing Bodies run coaching awards but these can be expensive. They provide good content but carefully consider which ones you book on. Sometimes it is better to go on a sports course that might be your weakness rather than gain more qualifications in a sport you are already knowledgeable on. Star Hotshots are recruiting children's sports coaches as they're aiming to launch their programmes across the UK. The opportunities available provide the right person with the chance to establish and run their own business without having to pay any franchise fee. For more info email jo@hotshots-sports.co.uk.