Do you enjoy following sports? Do you consider yourself adventurous? Consider taking a gap year abroad to coach the sports you love! A gap year is a year 'break' between one stage of life and another, whether it's after high school, college, or between one job and another. It's an opportunity to learn new things, travel, and even learn new skills that you can later put on a resume, use in an interview, and help in a future career!

Taking a gap year to coach sports programs abroad will offer you a once in a lifetime experience to be a part of a team like never before. Aside from gaining teaching skills and learning game strategy, sports coaching will also help you grow your business, communication, and social skills.

Coaches are confronted with a variety of challenges every day. Most of the job revolves around training amateur athletes to compete in a sport, either individually or on a team. Although difficult, coaching is also one of the most rewarding job experiences, not only for the coach but for the players themselves too. By playing sports, kids learn the importance of perseverance and staying healthy. They also gain confidence and, most importantly, have fun!

Read on to learn how you can inspire students and share your passion for health and fitness by becoming their new sports coach!

Popular Sports to Coach During Your Gap Year Abroad

Before you travel abroad, it is important to determine what kind of sports coaching you plan to do and where you would want to coach. Sports coaching can vary based on which country you choose to travel to. For example, the United Kingdom may offer more opportunities in rugby, cricket, and squash while the United States concentrates on football, basketball, and hockey.

You'll find that most sports coaching programs are internships or volunteer opportunities. However, paid opportunities can also be found.

Soccer

Soccer, also known as football in many countries, is played between two teams of eleven players and a spherical ball. Soccer is played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world’s most popular sport. Projects Abroad offers coaching soccer opportunities in Bolivia, China, Ghana, India, Kenya, Moldova, Morocco, Peru, and more!

Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field at the center of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. Each team takes its turn to bat, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields. Each turn is known as an innings. Cricket coaching abroad opportunities are offered in India, Australia, and several countries throughout Europe

Rugby League Football

Usually called rugby league, it is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. Many gap year programs to coach for rugby abroad are located in New Zealand and South Africa.

Basketball

Basketball is a sport played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter and 10 feet (3.0 m) high mounted to a backboard at each end. Projects Abroad offers basketball coaching abroad opportunities in Ghana, Morocco, Peru, Senegal, and Togo.

Sports are very apparent all around the world. Coaching opportunities exist almost everywhere and offer internships for applicants interested in inspiring a team of players. Sports give children a valuable opportunity to gain confidence as individuals and learn more about working as a team. Taking time to participate in sports actively engages children, helping to improve their concentrations and gain new skills. You can share this experience by volunteering to help coach children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Madagascar

Madagascar’s dramatic forest landscape is home to a fascinating diversity of life. Its magical landscape is shaped by the snaking root formations of baobab and aloe trees. The forest canopies are filled with wildlife genetically evolved to the island, such as the minute mouse lemur and the Aye-Aye. Madagascar’s sparkling coral reefs and golden sanded beaches make it an ideal project location to spend a semester or year. The lively, hospitable Malagasy communities welcome volunteers to become a part of their warm, exotic culture. Gap year programs such as Frontier offer sports coaching opportunities in Madagascar for soccer, basketball, handball, netball, volleyball, and more!

Fiji

The Fijian archipelago sits comfortably in the Pacific Ocean surrounded by palm trees and under warm sunlight. The towns and villages are very culturally diverse. Multicolor Hindu temples and indigenous houses are intermixed throughout the islands. Fiji is also inhabited by over 1,200 species of fish, including the clown fish, triggerfish, blue tangs, and much more. Spend your gap year in Fiji and enjoy its sun-drenched days and exotic nights on the beach eating traditional food with whirling fire dancers. Frontier offers coaching abroad programs in Fiji for hockey, soccer, rugby, netball, swimming, and more!

Australia

Spend your days on the crystal clear waters of one of the most stunning beach locations in the world. Sydney offers a wealth of opportunity, from the lively Bondi beach to the historic streets of The Rocks and the stunning Blue Mountains. Use your gap year abroad to explore everything this country has to offer. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, push your skills to the next level by learning and coaching surfing in Australia. Other sports coaching programs offered in Australia include volleyball, basketball, and more!

Costs of a Sports Coaching Gap Year

Although you can look for sports coaching job openings, one of the most popular ways to start working is through an organized program, non-profit, or charity. They usually provide housing, meals, weekend travel opportunities, and built-in pre-departure support. These programs last from a few weeks to a few months and tend to cost between $2,000 - $5,000 or more.

You should also consider other expenses such as airplane tickets, transportation to and from the airport, travel insurance, vaccines, and visa costs. Every program is different, so some items may be included in the program fee. If you want to participate in a gap year, but don't have the financial ability to do so, some sports coaching programs provide financial aid. Another way is to fundraise your program fee or to apply to a large number of grants and scholarships available.

Visas for Your Gap Year

Each country has different requirements for spending an extended period of time for visiting or working. Most visas will have to be arranged and paid for before your departure, which many sports coaching programs help with. Some tourist visas are provided upon arrival, but usually last 30 - 90 days and do not allow working rights. If you plan to work as a sports coach and travel in places like Australia or New Zealand, you can obtain a working holiday visa. It's a great option for young people between the ages of 18 - 30 and allows you to stay in the country for a whole year.

Popular Gap Year Sports Coaching Program Providers

The following providers offer programs to send students abroad for opportunities for sports coaching:

Frontier

Frontier was established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity and building sustainable livelihoods for marginalized communities in the world's poorest countries. Their first projects were in Tanzania, one of the world's poorest countries. Carrying out groundbreaking surveys in remote forest, savannah, and marine environments, their dedicated teams of volunteers set about building a comprehensive picture of areas that were ignored, despite being among the most bio diverse areas in the world.

Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations in the world. Founded in 1992, it sends 10,000 people abroad each year on a variety of service projects and internships overseas. All participants receive unparalleled in-country support from our full-time, professional staff to ensure that the experience is safe, worthwhile and fun.

Sporting Opportunities

Sporting Opportunities runs sports coaching volunteer projects in Africa, Asia, and South America, giving sporty people (like you) the chance to coach sports to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their volunteers work together to organize coaching sessions and sports matches in the local community, giving children and youth athletes the chance to play and be coached in the sports they love. You don’t need to be an experienced or qualified coach to join their sports coaching projects. You just need lots of enthusiasm and some basic playing or coaching experience, be it at school, club, university or county level.

Contributed by Melody Shieh

Gap Year Sports Coaching Programs

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