A minor in Athletic Coaching would better prepare undergraduate students interested in coaching either as a full-time position, a part-time position or as a volunteer. Additionally, a coaching minor may help students interested in graduate education earn an assistantship as an athletic coaching graduate assistant. Currently, a number of SMGT, PETE and other students coach on a part-time or volunteer basis and many ESU Athletic Teams have student managers from a number of majors across campus.
In addition to student interest in Athletic Coaching, many state and national organizations have created standards to assess the quality of training and continuing education for coaches in the United States. Currently the U.S. is the only major economic country that does not have mandatory training standards for athletic coaches and “a majority of youth sports coaches are ill equipped for their role” (Sage & Eitzen, 2013, p. 86). Organizations working to improve training standards include Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. (PIAA), Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE), and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NAAIA).
The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE; previously known as National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)) has developed National Standards of Sport Coaches (see http://www.shapeamerica.org/standards/coaching/coachingstandards.cfm), which overviews eight domains of coaching with standards and benchmarks in each domain. A solid minor in Athletic Coaching would include coursework from four departments (i.e., ATEP, EXSC, SMGT, PETE) to meet SHAPE’s domains. This proposed Athletic Coaching Minor will require students to take coursework across the four departments, while still providing much flexibility to meet the students’ interests and needs.