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Sports Coaching degree introduced at Ohio State

Anthony Rodriguez
Tue, 2016-03-22 05:36

The creation of a new master’s degree for sports coaches positions Ohio State to become a national leader in yet another field.

The Master of Sports Coaching degree is the first of its kind to be offered at a university. Practical and transformative learning will give experienced coaches new leadership abilities and challenge them to reach new heights in their careers.

The College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE), in collaboration with The Ohio State University’s Department of Athletics, College of Medicine and practicing professionals, began accepting applications for the Master of Sports Coaching program in January.

“We are very excited to offer this program for professional coaches,” Dean Cheryl Achterberg said. “Our faculty have devoted significant time and energy to create a degree that is second-to-none and one that, most importantly, provides coaches with the skills to make critical decisions, maintain high ethical standards and help their athletes perform at very high levels.”

Students in the program will learn from world-renowned expert faculty, master coaches from Ohio State, guest speakers and student colleagues as they engage in real world learning that can be applied immediately to their day-to-day coaching. They also will hear from representatives from professional and amateur sports, including the U.S. Olympic Committee.

“There is a significant need for current and future coaches to learn what it means to coach in the 21st century,” said Gene Smith, director of athletics at Ohio State. “Professor Phillip Ward has done a masterful job pulling together the outstanding talent in EHE to make this the best program in the country. Our coaching staff is excited to be lecturers in the program.”
Ward, a kinesiology professor and the program’s director, developed the Master of Sports Coaching to be similar to an MBA. The degree will help coaches become successful professionals in the 21st century.

“We did a yearlong study of master’s degrees around the world and found many of them didn’t serve coaches well,” said the American Academy of Kinesiology research fellow. “Our degree is centered on the practice of coaching. It has a connectivity that doesn’t exist in any other degree of its kind.”

The degree is built around five pillars:

  • Practical – A curriculum that provides practical, real world learning where students will apply the knowledge and skills in their day-to-day coaching
  • Transformative – The ability for coaches to challenge themselves to reach their full career potential
  • Unique – A one-of-a-kind degree that gives highly motivated and experienced coaches the professional skills needed for success in the 21st century
  • Leadership – The Master of Sports Coaching will help coaches unlock the 'ambition' within, and refine their leadership skills for the real world
  • Excellence – It’s Ohio State where excellence in teaching and coaching are hallmarks of a first-class education.

Ethical conduct is a core value of the Master of Sports Coaching – it links all courses of the degree, Ward said.

“We want coaches to not only have ethics, but also a very good understanding of what constitutes ethical practice,” he said.

Students also will learn about race, gender and culture in sports, interpersonal relationships, coaching effectiveness, sport law, sport marketing, sports medicine and more.

The coaching community has an urgent need for high-quality professional development, Ward said. The Master of Sports Coaching program will give coaches the skills to become leaders on and off the field.

“We have a very clear vision,” Ward said. “We want to contribute to the professionalization of coaches. We want Ohio State to be the No. 1 place to study coaching.”

The program can be taken either full time or part time. To learn more about the program requirements, frequently asked questions and how to apply, visit the Master of Sports Coaching program page.


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