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Science of Coaching 


The mission of the coaching minor is to respond to the critical need in today's society for quality coaches. The Science of Coaching minor is designed to professionally prepare the student to become an effective coach on and off the field of play. The coursework provides students opportunities to learn and apply the principles and practices of coaching in any athletic or sport setting. The practicum allows the students to actively participate in a coaching experience under the guidance and supervision of a qualified coach.

Description of Program

Athletics can have far-reaching effects physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually in the lives of young people. The substantial growth in athletic participation, the increased emphasis on sport competition, and the greater attention paid to athletics in the educational process have motivated educators and community leaders to require that their coaches develop a foundation of essential coaching skills. It is the goal of the Coaching Minor, within the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, to enable prospective coaching professionals to be trained through programs which will prepare them to: (a) demonstrate knowledge of the profession of athletics, (b) demonstrate an understanding of professional practices, issues and trends essential for effective coaching, and (c) demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors for athletic coaching.

With a strong background in the science and physiology of movement, athletic training, care and prevention of athletic injuries and psychology of coaching, students will possess the knowledge, skills and experience required for services as an athletic coach. The Coaching Minor is a 25 credit hour program that emphasizes six essential elements for future coaches. These key elements include: (1) Human growth and developmental aspects of coaching, (2) Medical-legal aspects of coaching, (3) Social/Psychological aspects of coaching, (4) Biomechanical aspects of coaching, (5) Strategies and technical aspects of coaching, (6) Professional preparation and practicum in coaching.

  • Human growth and developmental aspects of coaching
    • The program will emphasize practices, issues and theories in human growth and development with special attention placed on training, conditioning and nutrition.
  • Medical-legal aspects of coaching
    • The program will emphasize practices, issues and theories in first aid, care, prevention and recovery from athletic injuries.
  • Social/Psychological aspects of coaching
    • The program will emphasize practices, issues, and theories involving behavioral aspects of an athlete’s relationship with society. Special attention will be focused on the societal role of coaches and the influences they have with their athletes.
  • Biomechanical aspects of coaching
    • The program will emphasize practices, issues, and theories involving the scientific aspects of athletic performance including anatomy, kinesiology and physiology.
  • Strategies and technical aspects of coaching
    • The program will emphasize practices, issues, and theories involved in the organization and strategies of sport and the techniques of coaching basic skills of sport.
  • Professional preparation and practicum of coaching
    • The program will emphasize practices, issues, and theories regarding professional development in the coaching area and will culminate with a semester long practical field experience in their coaching area.


In addition to the coaching curriculum, students are encouraged to participate in several experiences beyond the classroom intended to enhance their preparation for athletic coaching. These opportunities include:

  • Participation in clinics
  • Judging and officiating competitions
  • Attending workshops
  • Assisting with high school teams
  • Coaching with private sport programs
  • Volunteering with local youth leagues and programs
  • Shadowing/interviewing community coaches

For more information regarding Coaching as an area of study contact the following organizations:

Career Opportunities

The Science of Coaching curriculum has been designed to prepare students for work in a variety of athletic and recreational settings. Potential career opportunities include:

  • Coaching (community, interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, AAU)
  • Performance Enhancement (Conditioning and Personal Training)
  • Officiating
  • Sport Management (athletic administration, sport activity management)
  • Sport Media (sports information, sports broadcasting)
  • Sport Law
  • Compliance
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Sports Agent
  • Academic Counseling

How can I prepare for a career in coaching?

A natural interest in children, sport, recreation, or officiating is an excellent beginning. High school courses in psychology, human anatomy, child growth, biology and strength training would also be helpful as a knowledge base. Volunteer work with children as well as participation in the sport(s) of your choice is extremely helpful.

Points of Pride

The Science of Coaching minor program within the Department of Kinesiology currently serves over 80 undergraduate students.

Coaching minor students work with coaches, either in college, public school or recreational programs outside of the campus environment for their coaching practicum. The practicum allows the students the opportunity to shadow a local coach and assist with a team for an entire semester. During the experience, students share in coaching responsibilities including practice planning, team meetings, skill breakdown, scouting, player evaluation and budget management.

Faculty members within the Coaching minor program have worked closely with Career Services personnel to expose students to career options, conducting a job search, writing a cover letter/resume, performing on a mock job interview, and shadowing/interviewing outstanding coaches in the field.

Coaching minor students have the opportunity to enroll in coaching technique classes conducted by current University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire head coaches. Students have the opportunity to participate with UWEC teams during their practicum.

Coaching minor students will develop a coaching portfolio during their experience to include their philosophy of coaching, strategies for chosen sport, team rules and expectations, budget design, practice plans, and evaluations for future use in the field.

Semester Plan

Semester 1: Fall  
Semester 2: Spring *KINS 194 Anatomical Kinesiology (prereq) (3)
Semester 3: Fall *KINS 292 Management and Coaching (2)
PHYS 100 Physical Science (prereq)
Semester 4: Spring *KINS 312 Psychosocial Dynamics of Sport (3)
Semester 5: Fall *KINS 225 Minorities and Inequities in Sport (2)
KINS 275 Prevention and Care (2) (prereq)
KINS 277 Lab (1)
Semester 6: Spring * KINS 357 Essentials of Strength Training (2)
KINS 304 Biomechanical Kinesiology (3) (prereq)
Semester 7: Fall *KINS 308 Physiological Kinesiology (3) (prereq)
KINS ___ Coaching of (2)
Semester 8: Spring *KINS 492 Coaching Practicum (2)
  Total: 25

Other Information

Where can I get more information?

For specific program information, contact:

Tonja Englund
175 McPhee
UW-Eau Claire