Fit to perform

Get sporty: A positive mindset and a willingness to experiment are helpful for a job as a coach. An instructor must also have the ability to solve problems of students or players

The lowdown

Sports instructors/coaches play an important role in education institutions. They have to ensure that each child in their care remains fit or reaches required levels of fitness. They also have to be on the constant lookout for sporting talent and nurture it. They have to ensure that the student is given ample opportunities to participate in national and international school-level competitions. A lot is packed into the sporting instructors’ schedule. From supervising physical training lessons, to taking physical education classes, they have to pay individual attention to athletes, ensure that all sporting equipment of the school is in order, accompany school teams to other sporting events and ensure that they perform well. One also has to be regularly updated on the latest techniques in sports. A positive mindset and a willingness to experiment are very helpful for coaching. An instructor must also have the ability to diagnose and rectify the problems of the students or players. Good education and communication skills add to this result-oriented profession.

7am: Supervise children taking half-an-hour of physical exercise every morning (except Sundays)
9am: School assembly, mass PT
10am onwards: Supervise games classes
1.30am: Lunch
3pm onwards: Coach individuals handpicked for an all-school games meet
5pm: Discuss students’ selected for the sports meet/competition with the principal
6pm: Supervise evening games for boarders
7pm: Spend time in gym and check equipment
8pm: Attend to complaints
9pm: Dinner
10pm: Call it a day, watch TV, catch up on the sports news and other events

The payoff
A sports instructor at a top public school could be paid anything between R4 lakh and R6.5 lakh per annum. This apart, he/she could also be entitled to education for his/her children, free housing, healthcare, subsidised meals, electricity, gas etc. There are also paid holidays for them throughout their school career

* Aware of training for/rules of various sporting disciplines
* Good sporting and training skills, patience to deal with slow learners
* Good motivator, should have the ability to develop  competitive spirit in students

Getting there
Taking up science with a special focus on biology at the school level and on physiology at graduation level will help. You should be aware of sports medicine, exercise physiology, biochemistry, physiotherapy, sports anthropometry, bio-mechanics, kinesiology and all kinds of training methods. To join a top school as a sports instructor you must have a professional diploma/degree in sports coaching and should have participated at national or international levels in your game of specialisation

Institutes and URLs
* Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, New Delhi,
* Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala, 
* Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Kerala,

Pros and cons
* Great satisfaction in training young people to excel in sports
* Can be a stressful job, school’s performance in sporting events depends on your training skills

It is a very challenging field as you have to keep motivating the child. No other subject is as demanding as sports --- Meena Joshi, dean - sports, Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi


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