Dream Job: Sports Coach
Many people dream of becoming great hockey players or tennis stars. A few of them manage to fulfill their dreams and to play in the sport they love. However, the career of an athlete is usually fairly short. Depending on the sport, athletes might be finished by the time they are twenty-five or thirty years old. What can they do after that? Some of them get into an entirely different type of work, like teaching or accounting. Others, however, stay in their sports through becoming coaches. That was the case for Michel Therrien, coach of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.
If you play on a sports team at school or a community centre, you probably know a bit about what coaches do. Basically, they help the athletes in the sport to play better than before. They might help players improve a certain part of their style, such as how they hold a hockey stick, or they might just generally encourage them to keep on practicing. Often, being a coach involves making decisions about who will play and for how long. Being a coach involves an ability to deal with people calmly and to make good decisions quickly.
Normally, coaches work in sports that they also have played in the past. Michel Therrien, for example, used to be a player for the Montreal Canadiens hockey team. Now he is the team’s coach. His experience as a player is useful in helping him understand how players can improve their hockey skills. He also knows how to advise the players on the best way to play their game. For example, he might see how a really fast skater can help someone who is slower but very good at getting goals. He can see when a player is working well with the others and when someone needs help. Michel Therrien has experience with both the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and everything he has learned has helped him to become a better coach.
The requirements for being a coach can vary a lot. Coaches for school teams are usually teachers with degrees in education, and many coaches take courses to become certified in their area. Through these programs, they learn different coaching techniques and ways of dealing with people. Experience, however, is often the most important way to learn the work. Many people start out as assistant coaches and learn from someone who has been doing the job for a long time. Michel Therrien started his coaching career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he coached two teams before becoming a professional hockey player.
If you love sports and dream of playing them for the rest of your life, becoming a coach just might be the job of a lifetime!