Athlete to Coach

Christian Malcolm and Adam Gemili

As an athlete who has competed for their Home Nation or Great Britain & Northern Ireland we would love you to help us inspire the next generation of athletes to fulfil their potential. We have developed a tailored and intensive training programme that allows you to gain the Coaching Assistant and Athletics Coach qualification and build on the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout your athletics careers.


This Athlete to Coach Programme is a bespoke programme, which aims to provide athletes transitioning into coaching with the competencies required to be licensed as an Athletics Coach.

During years of competing, international athletes can acquire technical and tactical knowledge with respect to themselves and their event. The challenge for transitioning athletes is how to transfer and deliver this knowledge and experiences in a way that is meaningful to others.

As such this programme is designed to challenge the learner to shift their thinking from that of an elite athlete to one of a coach. The content will be delivered by a team of experienced Coach Education Tutors. It will be delivered in classroom and practical settings with coaches expected to practice and reflect on content covered between the timetabled days with the support of a qualified coach.

Athlete to Coach questions

What is the role of an athletics coach?

Athletics Coaches have many different roles.

  • To identify, plan for and continually evaluate the development needs of athletes.
  • To supervise Coaching Assistants or Leaders in the delivery of whole sessions or part of sessions.
  • To manage the safety and welfare of those under your supervision.
  • When qualified and licensed, the Athletics Coach ideally will be operating in a team environment with a range of Coaching Assistants and other coaches in the planning and delivery of these programmes.

British Athletics and the Home Country Athletics Associations promote a culture of coaching co-operation and collaboration by providing further opportunities for formal learning and coach development. The Athletics Coach programme is a formal step towards becoming licensed as a Coach, however, this is only the first step of the coach development journey.

Am I the right person for the course?

Athletes aged over 18 who can evidence:

  • A commitment to coaching.
  • Must have represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including event specific at GB&NI level), or competed for your Home Country.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative affect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities and we are committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity and inclusion within our sport. To ensure the coach qualification process provides equality and fairness it is important that:

  • We understand the nature of candidates’ disability, so the course tutor is aware and can make reasonable adjustments ahead of the course being undertake
  • We support candidates with early interventions where candidates may not be engaging within the course.

Candidates must engage in tasks and activities throughout the course and demonstrate improvement following any discussions with course staff. Candidates not engaging within all aspects of the course are at risk of not gaining the qualification at the end of the process.

Disclosure check and Mandatory Training Module:

For a coach licence to be processed, coaches are required to complete the Mandatory Training Module and Safeguarding webinar and have a current disclosure check in place. Checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore a new check will need to be made.

Course Structure

A combination of in-person days, a series of online, self-guided learning modules, and finally a practical assessment, the courses consist of the following:

  • Coaching Assistant 4 online modules
  • 3 practical days covering Coaching Assistant and Athletics Coach
  • Online Safeguarding webinar plus online modules for Safeguarding and First Aid
  • Athletics Coach Technical Elective online modules
  • Practical Assessment 

What topics are covered?

  • Technical Knowledge across all the track and field event groups to Foundation Level as a minimum
  • Factors influencing performance
  • Energy systems and training principles
  • Athlete Centred Coaching
  • The Athlete Development Model and Pathway
  • How people learn
  • Skill development
  • Athlete profiling
  • Short and medium-term planning
  • Coaching process skills
  • The role and responsibilities of a coach


Access to the Coaching Assistant and Athletics Coach modules and supporting resources are available through your My Learning once you have booked on your course.

Resources are available in enlarged print. Please contact your Home Country Education Coordinator for further details.


The cost of the course is £475.

Accommodation is not included in the booking; you will be responsible for arranging your own accommodation. Lunch is not included (we cannot guarantee that all venues have refreshment facilities so please bring lunch and a drink with you).

Funding options

  • You can apply for a £250 bursary towards the course from the British Athletics Supporters' Club Bursary.
  • Contacting your local club for support. Clubs receive grants to put coaches through courses.
  • If you have recently been on funding or are still on funding, you will be able to apply for the Personal Development Award through UK Sport. To do this, please contact your Performance Lifestyle Team.

Book now

Book your place on the Athlete to Coach course.