Cycling coaches help riders develop their cycling skills.
Salary range: £20,000 to £30,000
How to become a cycling coach
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- getting specialist training from an industry body
There is no set entry route to become a professional cycle coach but getting a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a sports-related subject like sports science could give you an advantage.
If you’re a competitive cyclist, you could do a foundation degree in cycling performance or cycling studies.
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can work towards this role by starting with an intermediate apprenticeship as a community activator coach.
This apprenticeship is recognised by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
Volunteering and experience
You can develop your coaching skills through volunteering.
British Cycling has details on how you can get involved with your local club, coaching and cycling events. There are opportunities in road and track racing, BMX and mountain biking.
You can do training through a professional body like British Cycling, who offer qualifications in coaching. For example:
- Level 1 Award in Coaching Cycling – beginner’s qualification
- Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Cycling – if you have some coaching experience
- Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Cycling – if you want to work with individual riders and plan detailed training programmes
Bursaries or grants may be available to help you train as a cycling coach.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- leadership skills
- the ability to teach pupils how to do something
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
- excellent verbal communication skills
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have insurance
- pass enhanced background checks
- have a first aid certificate
- be over 18 years of age
What you’ll do
If you’re working with younger riders in schools and community groups, you could be:
- planning fun, engaging coaching activities, sessions and programmes in a safe environment
- helping riders to improve their riding technique
- working with riders, schools, community groups and sports organisations to promote the sport
If you’re working with riders involved in the competitive side of the sport, you could be:
- working on developing more advanced riding techniques and tactics
- designing training programmes
- supporting riders at races and competitions
- maintaining records of rider performance
- advising on how lifestyle choices can affect performance
- mentoring other coaches
- working with experts including sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and programme managers
- marketing and promoting your coaching services, if you’re self-employed
- combining your coaching with other work to earn money
You could work on a sports field, at a sports arena or at a race track.
Career path and progression
You could work for British Cycling as a development coach, introducing people to cycling, or working on talent programmes to support cyclists.
You could work as a coach for a local authority or organisation with an interest in sports development at places like BMX tracks, mountain bike trail centres or indoor cycling tracks.
You could become a self-employed coach and design training programmes for amateur riders.
You could also become a cycle trainer through the Bikeability scheme, teaching young people how to cycle safety on roads. If you work with young people, you could move into sports development or youth work.
With experience, you could transfer your skills and abilities to other areas of the sports industry.