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Want to be an athletics coach?

We've got everything you need to get into coaching
Contact: UK Athletics

If coaching athletics is your dream job we've got everything you need to get started.

The UK Athletics Coach Education Programme is designed to train candidates in the fundamentals of coaching.

As well as learning the essentials, coaches have to opportunity to specialise in a wide range of areas.

Here's what's on offer - for more information or an application form, get in touch with UK Athletics.


Lasting one day and costing £50, this course is an introduction to coaching skills.

There is a large practical element, with theory being taught through the practical parts.

The coach will receive a complete manual of the course and, upon completion, will be entered onto the UK Athletics Coach database.

As soon as the course has been completed the coach is qualified and insured to coach under the supervision of a coach qualified at Level Two or higher.


Taking place over three days (usually a weekend, followed by a separate event specific day) and costing £120, this course builds on the skills learnt at Level One.

The 'core' part of the award is taken by coaches of all disciplines and goes into greater depth on topics such as:

  • Learning styles
  • How to use questioning and give feedback in your coaching
  • How to use demonstrations appropriately
  • How to most effectively observe and analyse athletes you are coaching

At the same time topics such as planning a session, anatomy and physiology, strength training, development of power and teaching technique are all covered.

Coaches go through a period of 'supported practice', during which they will work with a more experienced coach. Some of these sessions will be logged and coaches are encouraged to reflect on what they have learnt.

Pick an event

The final part of the award is an event specific day, which takes place approximately eight weeks after the core weekend, when a coach will decide which event group they would like to specialise in (e.g. sprints, endurance, jumps and throws).

Coaches learn about the specific techniques involved in the events and how to coach them. Coaches are assessed while they deliver a short coaching session that they have prepared previously.

Once all parts have been completed to a satisfactory level you will be upgraded to a Level 2 coach.


The Level 3 Coaching Award is designed for those working with athletes on a regular basis and looking to improve their coaching and planning skills, whilst developing a greater understanding of what contributes to athletic performance - both in general and with reference to a specific event or group of events.

Taking a minimum of 12 months to complete, it culminates in a written and practical assessment.


The Level Four Coaching Award is aimed at those coaches who are committed to helping their athletes realise their potential, and the management of this process.

Level Four consists of four phases that coaches must complete, along with their own choice of optional modules.

Completion of the Level Four is by written and practical assessment; it takes a minimum of 18 months to complete.


Coaches at all levels can supplement their training with optional modules. At present, the following are available:

  • Coaching athletes with a disability
  • Coaching female athletes
  • Eating disorders
  • First aid
  • Long-term athlete development
  • Mentored practice
  • Strength and conditioning


In addition to the coaching pathway, there are two Leaders Awards.


Lasting one day and costing £50, this course is designed for people who are involved in leading groups of children (aged 8-13) taking part in athletics-type activity.

It helps leaders to ensure the sessions they are taking are fun, create maximum involvement and are safe for all concerned.

The organisational and planning elements of running such group sessions are covered. It covers topics such as the responsibility of the coach when running sessions with growing children.

The course will help coaches to:

  • Deliver safe, enjoyable and well organised sessions that maximise involvement
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate a series of sessions appropriate to the age/stage of the children
  • Develop fundamental movement skills appropriate to the age/stage of the children
  • Experience a range of athletic activities for children
  • Identify your responsibilities when working with children

Upon completion of the course, coaches will be qualified and insured to lead a group of children (aged 8-13) in athletics type activities using soft play equipment.


This course is designed for people who are involved in leading groups or individuals in endurance type activities such as running or walking.

It qualifies the person to lead a group of people in endurance type activities.

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