Online ExpertTrack in Business & Management

Coaching Skills: Sports Coaching and Leadership

Learn valuable sports coaching skills to lead and motivate your high-performing team with this ExpertTrack from Deakin University.

Created by

Deakin UniversityDeakin University

Learn more

Upskill in sports leadership and coaching to maximise your team's performance

Coaching skills have been increasingly sought-after to improve the performance of teams as well as individual athletes.

On this ExpertTrack, you’ll be empowered to become a confident and inspirational sports coach.

Using the international coaching experience of business and elite sports coach, Paddy Upton, you’ll explore concepts from sports psychology, coaching and leadership that can be applied to teams in a number of contexts.

Learn how to navigate coaching in a changing landscape

The coaching landscape is fast-changing, and you need to be adaptable to stay relevant and effective.

You’ll learn important strategies to help guide you through the changing coaching landscape, and the techniques that go beyond simply instructing.

Implement an athlete-centred approach

You’ll analyse the differences between a coach-centred and athlete-centred approach to coaching, and how these impact the performance of your athletes.

You’ll learn how to implement effective athlete-centred strategies to create a collaborative relationship and help them reach their potential.

Go on a journey of personal mastery

You’ll learn how to improve your emotional intelligence as you discover the relationship between self-awareness and being an effective leader.

You’ll understand how to become more self-aware, and how this affects your ability to give instructions as a leader or coach.

Find out how to create a positive and cohesive team culture

You’ll discover how to use different coaching principles and strategies to create a positive and supportive environment.

You’ll learn how your role as a coach is an important part of establishing an inclusive team culture, and how this affects performance.

Understand the importance of the mental game

You’ll examine the significance of mental fitness and how you can coach the mental game to help your athletes perform without any distractions.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds [CHEERING]

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds In sport, the role of the coach as leader is not to push but to inspire. Rather than create fear, it’s to foster an inner desire. More than just delivering results, the coach’s role is to grow rounded and grounded human beings.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds Hi, I’m Paddy Upton, a business coach and high performance sports coach across multiple sports and at the professional level of the game. In this course, we’ll explore the changing coaching and leadership landscape in more detail and investigate how coaches can remain current and effective. We’ll also discover insights into different ways of leading others and practical methods to take your leadership or coaching to the next level.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds For me, leadership is about creating a fertile environment for others to learn, grow, and achieve whatever is important to them within the context of the team. The importance of this is to grow people both personally and professionally, ideally to produce valuable outcomes for the world they impact. All this needs to happen within the context of the fast changing coaching and leadership landscape. Whatever your interest in coaching or leadership, whether it’s sports, business, or any other purpose, I look forward to sharing my insights and hopefully helping you become an even better leader.

Key skills you will learn

  • Leadership
  • Athlete-centred coaching
  • Sports leadership
  • Culture building
  • Servant leadership
  • Self-awareness
  • Team development
  • Sports coaching
  • Team building
  • Values-based coaching
  • Sports management

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Investigate the impact of a coach- or athlete-centred approach on athlete development and performance and apply those principles in practice
  • Recognise the changing landscape of coaching and apply innovative approaches to coaching that move beyond instructing
  • Investigate the role successful coaches play in developing a positive and cohesive team culture and apply this in practice
  • Analyse the difference between the thinking and the instinctive brain and evaluate how their separate functions impact key moments when applying frameworks and strategies for coaching the mental game

Experience required

There are no entry requirements for this ExpertTrack.

The ability to coach high-performing teams is essential for anyone coaching at an elite sporting level. You’ll gain insights into the psychology behind coaching and learn from one of the best minds in the field.

This course will suit you if you are looking to grow your skills in coaching. You could be just starting your career or you may have prior coaching experience.

Getting started

This ExpertTrack will suit you if you are looking to grow your skills in coaching.

It will particularly benefit you if you are a current or prospective coach looking to broaden your skills or become a better coach. It will also suit you if you are a student considering postgraduate study in sports or nutrition, or an athlete transitioning to personal training work.

ExpertTrack course overview

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

Download a PDF

How ExpertTracks work

Join an ExpertTrack to master new skills in your chosen specialist area. Work through a series of topic-focused courses at your own pace, and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate award which proves your expertise.

Join a free 7-day trial

Decide if the ExpertTrack is right for you with free access to the full suite of courses and assessments for a week.

Keep learning for $39/month

Pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 for as long as it takes you to complete the ExpertTrack. You can learn at your own pace and cancel at any time.

Earn digital certificates

Receive a certificate for every completed course and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate.

Become an expert

Use your specialist training to progress further in your career or build expertise in areas you’re passionate about.

World-class learning with Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Meet your instructor

I'm a Professor of Practice at Deakin University, coach of professional cricket teams and athletes, and business coach - which I do to support my surfing, fishing and stand-up paddling habits

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

What are our learners saying?

Add a new skill or forge a new path

"I recommend Futurelearn to anyone looking to learn and upskill...If you are in the job market, you might want to add a new skill or forge a new path."

They bring the classroom right to you

"FutureLearn courses are always interesting and informative. They bring the classroom right to you and send you on a journey to explore new ideas and offer interesting topics."

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends


ExpertTracks are a series of online courses designed to help you master new skills in specialist areas. You pay a monthly subscription fee which includes access to all courses within the ExpertTrack, as well as assessments and the final digital certificate.

Each ExpertTrack comes with a 7-day free trial period. You may cancel your subscription at any time and your subscription will automatically cancel when you finish the courses and assessments in your chosen ExpertTrack.

Yes. All of our ExpertTracks come with a 7-day free trial. You may claim one free trial period per ExpertTrack.

You have seven days before you will be charged your first monthly subscription fee. When you join an ExpertTrack you automatically receive a 7-day free trial period. You can cancel at any time during the trial period and no payment will be taken from your account.

Please see our full refund policy here.

No, all of our ExpertTracks consist of fully online courses. This means you can take an ExpertTrack from anywhere in the world.

No. ExpertTracks are designed for you to master new skills in a specialist area. You will earn a digital certificate that proves your learning, but it does not carry accreditation.

If you’re looking for certified or accredited courses, many of our microcredentials offer university credit or professional certification.

Have more questions about ExpertTracks? Read the ExpertTracks FAQs, or contact us.