CHOOSING A CAREER / SEP. 26, 2014
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How to Become a Cycling Coach in the US

If you’re a cycling enthusiast then the employment opportunity of a cycling coach would be a dream come true. Cycling coaches are seasoned veterans who have done it all in the sport, and are now working with riders of all ages to help them develop technique, acumen and understanding about the sport of cycling. Ride from your old career into a brand new exciting one.

The Work

In order to be a successful and prominent cycling coach you have to have a lot of love, dedication and enthusiasm for cycling. It’s also important to determine what type of cycling coach you wish to be: children or adults, young or old, local or national organization, road cycling or mountain biking.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

-          Educating students about different bicycles, styles and cycling sports

-          Supporting individuals and riders to become better cyclists and racers

-          Helping riders improve their methods and techniques when riding a bicycle

-          Designing very rudimentary cycling programs in a safe environment

-          Producing fun, engaging and educational activities and sessions for students

-          Working with riders, community organizations and schools to promote cycling

-          Maintaining in-depth records of students, including their progress and levels

-          Creating newer engaging activities as students become more advanced

-          Mentoring other coaches and students who wish to become professional cyclists

-          Marketing and promoting your lessons, education and history (applicable for self-employed)

Salary & Hours

Median Hourly Wage

Median Annual Salary

$11.00

$39,786

Source: PayScale.com

 

There are two sets of hours and working conditions for cycling coaches: full-time and part-time.

Full-time cycling coaches will often work very long hours in order to help professional cyclists train and compete in competitions that can take place locally, regionally and nationally. This means that full-time cycling coaches will often be away from their home and be traveling all over the place.

Part-time cycling coaches, meanwhile, can often work a couple of times per week in addition to their full-time career. Part-time cycling coaches regularly offer their services for love of the sport and to teach others about the sport. These individuals will attend events, races and other competitions as well as workshops and conferences.

Skills

The position of a cycling coach will require these professionals to have the following skills:

-          Understand the intricacies and differences of all sorts of bicycles

-          Be aware of the various races, competitions and cycling sports in the country

-          Have excellent communication skills, an interpersonal approach and kindness

-          Strong educational abilities (knowing how to each) and marketing skills

-          Basic knowledge in health, nutrition and physiology to present lifestyle choices

Qualifications

Anyone who wishes to be a professional cyclist should first obtain an education in health science, physiology and overall physical health studies. Additional training in anything technological or engineering can be of value because this can help bring about awareness of the production of a bicycle.

Once this is completed then individuals who want to become a cycling coach must obtain a level three certification through USA Cycling. In order to complete this, you will need to pass an exam and then a background check. Each year, cycling coaches must renew their USA Cycling membership and coaching licence. (More information can be read here.)

Every cycling coach should improve their expertise and skills by regularly attending workshops, seminars and other cycling conferences to become the best of the best.

Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment outlook for fitness trainers and instructors, which also includes cycling coaches, is projected to increase by 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. With a growing number of Americans recouping their lost funds, gaining better employment and beginning to focus more on their health, consumers will start to seek out cycling opportunities.

Akin to a basketball, tennis or baseball coach, cycling coaches can have just as much fun doing something they love. Although it does require rigorous training and constant workouts, it offers a variety of rewards, including enhanced health, being outdoors and visiting various cities.

Photo by Andrew Campbell via Flickr.

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