Bridging Gaps in Your Coaching Experience on Your Resume
There are two kinds of harmful gaps on a coaching resume. One is a lack of experience and the other is a lack of career-related skills. Both seem like insurmountable hurdles because you can't gain experience without a coaching job and it can take time to acquire coaching-related skills.
Many coaches or aspiring coaches may be working a full-time job in an entirely different profession. This can make it even more difficult to obtain the experience and skills to climb the proverbial coaching ladder. However, there are ways to gain invaluable experience that will not only look good on a resume, but will also hone your professional skills. Here are some ways you can accomplish this: Join professional organizations
Join as many as you can. There are plenty of organizations related to each sport, such as state and national coaches associations. There are also organizations related to other areas, for example strength and conditioning, nutrition, or overall professional development.
Often times, within your coaches associations, there are opportunities for serving on a committee. This is not only a great opportunity for resume-filling experience, it is also an excellent networking opportunity as well.
Attending clinics within your sport or clinics associated with coaching in some manner is a terrific way to not only educate yourself and gain experience, but is again an opportunity to grow your coaching network!
Camps can benefit you in so many positive ways. They are a source of extra income. They are also another opportunity to not only meet more coaches, but also a chance to learn from these coaches. Plus, you get to work with young athletes while working on your coaching techniques and methods.
Private training, instruction, and lessons
Training athletes and giving instruction/lessons locally is the best way to fill a gap when you aren't coaching. Especially if you are working in another job/profession. It's important to show that you are still involved in coaching and your sport in some manner. It's best to provide instruction under a company name. It is very easy to create your own company. I recommend going the route of a sole proprietorship versus an LLC. Having your own company is good for personal branding and looks much better on your resume than just listing "personal training" or “private lessons.”
Starting a side business is another great way to fill a gap when you aren't coaching. With the internet and social media, there are tons of ways to create content and resources that you may even be able to profit from while also helping out other coaches or athletes. If you have a specific skill or knowledge in an area that can benefit someone else, figure out a way to share that information.
In my early days, I created strength and conditioning program templates for coaches who were unfamiliar with the training aspect of coaching. I have also created resources that assist athletes, parents, and coaches navigate the recruiting process. The Coaching Portfolio Guide was created after I wrote a short article on developing coaching portfolios. And when I grew tired of working for other camps that were disorganized and poorly ran, I created my own camp company. There are so many opportunities for entrepreneurs in the coaching profession. You can even host your own clinics or webinars!
Take additional college classes or take advantage of continuing education opportunities such as clinics, webinars, conferences, etc. Obtain documentation or certification whenever possible.
Certifications and Licenses
Many professional organizations provide opportunities to become certified in specific area of coaching or training. These opportunities can help add valuable information to your resume while also giving you experience and training within the profession.