Become a Head of Sport: Your Career Guide with ACPE

Are you passionate about sports and aspire to lead in sports education? If so, the role of a Head of Sport might be your dream career path. In this guide, we’ll take you through how to become a Head of Sport and what the average day of a Head of Sport looks like.

What are the duties of the Head of Sport?

Behind every successful sports institution, whether a school, university, professional team or community sports program, there stands a dedicated and visionary leader — the Head of Sport.

This role involves the following responsibilities:

  • Strategic planning — You must always think ahead and create a long-term vision for your institution’s sports program, setting goals and devising strategies to achieve success.

  • Team management — As the Head of Sport, you must oversee the role of Sports Coaches, trainers and other support staff to foster a supportive environment for the athletes.

  • Athlete development — Create training programs and monitor athlete performance to ensure every player is on track to achieve their personal best.

  • Budget management — Allocate resources effectively and make the tough calls to ensure the ongoing sustainability of athletic programs.

  • Recruiting young talent — It’s your role to identify promising young talent for the team to build your team’s competitive advantage and create opportunities for newcomers.


  • Oversee the sports facility operations — Ensure the maintenance of sports facilities is up to par to provide the team with a training environment up to standard.

  • Ethical standards — Ensure your team plays within the bounds of fairness and integrity at all times, complying with the relevant rules and regulations.


How to become Head of Sport

  • Complete your relevant coaching qualifications 


A strong educational background is the basis of any future as a Head of Sport. Begin by earning a Bachelor’s degree in sports management, sports science or a related field. You can also upskill and pursue postgraduate studies, certifications or short courses in sports management.

At ACPE, we offer an Undergraduate Certificate in Sports Coaching designed for individuals already employed in the industry, offering the convenience of online learning. Whether you’re employed in sports coaching, coach development or athlete/player development, you can upskill and even receive Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credit to become a Head of Sport. 

  • Build a repertoire of practical work experience 


While we offer opportunities to study, ACPE still recognises that real-world experience is invaluable. While pursuing your degree, seek internships, part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities in sports management. This hands-on experience will bulk up your resume and enable you to learn sports leadership first-hand.

  • Network and apply for open positions in the sports industry


Networking is key to success in the sports industry. Put your best foot forward and attend sports conferences, seminars and events to connect with like-minded sports professionals. Our ACPE Careers Hub allows you to discover work placements, internships and voluntary roles. To learn more about careers in sports, attend our careers fairs, one-to-one advice sessions and employer-led events. Not to mention, during your studies at ACPE, you will learn from lecturers who are experienced educators, coaches and coach developers.

  • Showcase leadership and communication skills


Effective leadership and communication are must-have skills for a Head of Sport. Your role is to motivate teams, work collaboratively and communicate your vision. You can hone in on these skills within sports clubs, student organisations or community initiatives.

  • Ace the interview


If selected for an interview, ensure you’re well-prepared. Highlight your passion for sports education and commitment to student success. Emphasise how your education, experience and skills make you the ideal candidate for the Head of Sport role. At ACPE, our career development services will support you through all aspects of your career search, including resume and cover letter advice, best interview practices, building your LinkedIn profile and more. 

  • Embrace the role and always be willing to learn and grow


Once you secure the position of Head of Sport, put your best foot forward and lead with integrity and the willingness to continue to grow and evolve in your role.

Enrol at ACPE to begin your journey to become Head of Sport 

Becoming a Head of Sport requires dedication, education, practical experience and a strong alignment with ethical values that underpin the role. By choosing ACPE to study sports, you can gain real experience from industry placements and internships during your degree and feel supported on your way to becoming Head of Sport. If you’re considering a career as a Coach Mentor, Sports Administrator or Strength and Conditioning Coach, we have a range of courses to support your career development. If you have any questions, contact our team, who would be delighted to assist you.