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High Performance Coaching Specialization

If you’re interested in learning how to help athletes achieve optimal athletic performance at the high school, collegiate, or professional levels, the UF online M.S. in Sport Management with a specialization in High Performance Coaching (HPC) may be the right fit for you. The specialization is designed to enhance the efficacy of active coaches and to better prepare students for managerial coaching positions or careers in athletic administration. Individuals who will benefit from this training path include those pursuing career trajectories leading to these positions: head coach; associate head coach or coordinator; strength and conditioning coordinator; or sport administrator (working directly with coaching staffs).

The HPC specialization includes 15 credit hours of coursework that can be used to satisfy the elective requirement for the M.S. in Sport Management degree program. Courses from this specialization’s curriculum may also be taken as individual electives by students not pursuing a specialization.

Focusing on both the psychological and social elements of athlete performance training, the required courses are designed to offer theoretical and practical insight into creating an effective performance evaluation and development program. Drawing from the latest research, you’ll learn to work with athletes to assess their abilities and develop programs to foster skill development and enhance performance. You’ll also acquire a deeper understanding of how coaches can apply sport management principles to team management.

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High Performance Coaching Courses (15 credits):

SPM 5936 Behavioral Profiling and Application to Sport (3)

This course takes a deep dive into understanding human behavior using the DISC model (dominance, influence, steadiness, conscientiousness) and profiling assessments, and how their application can be used to improve performance and outcomes within sport. While there is a focus on high performance sport, the application of this topic is as relevant for all levels of sport.

The primary purpose of DISC profiling is to develop self-awareness and provide a framework for understanding others. This is extended to provide practical strategies to develop effective communication, enhance productive relationships, tailor coaching and counseling, enhance personal performance, and optimize team dynamics. While on the surface DISC profiling is based on a simple four-quadrant model, this course delves deeply into its theory and application to truly master this area of understanding human behavior. Students will complete the course with well-developed knowledge and experience in using DISC profiling assessments within the areas of individual consulting and counseling, personal and professional development, leadership training, coaching and coach development, team performance consulting, career transition, and management skill development. Students will also benefit from numerous interviews and presentations by industry experts who are renown in these fields. Athlete Assessments ( provides three different types of DISC Profiles specifically for the sports industry which include the AthleteDISC Profile (for athletes), the CoachDISC Profile (for coaches), and the Sports ManagerDISC Profile (for sports administrators and other professionals). The use of these assessments, including individual reports, observer feedback capability, and team reporting, is an important foundation of this class.

SPM 5936 What Drives Winning (3)

This course will be built around answering the question: “Can you take character development into the paid-to-win world of athletics and/or high performance?” Focusing on the development of the person first can help mitigate the pressures of high performance. This course will focus on the fundamentals of character development on the individual level and repurposing the sport experience to create a Person>Player environment.

SPM 5936 What Drives Winning Environments (3)

This course is designed around the question, “How do I build an environment where people can do their best work?” The course will be built around discovering and creating systems to help define your team standards, catch above-the-line behavior, convert below-the-line behavior, and model your expectations within a team environment.

SPM 5936 What Drives Winning Leaders (3)

This course will be built around the question: “How do you foster intrinsic motivation and self-awareness with the people that you lead?” Great leaders do not need another teller in their lives, but they do need/want a thinking partner. This class will show you how to use tools to build a platform where people can coach themselves. Content will be centered around actual conversations with high-performers demonstrating the use of a multitude of tools to build these skills.

SPM 5936 What Drives Winning Teams (3)

This course will be built around the question, “What are the top 3 things that get in the way of a team maximizing its abilities?” The goal of this course is to delve into the human-related issues that can get in the way and create structure, systems, and organize content to provide teams the platforms for dealing with those issues. Using a sport example, the course will follow two teams, Oregon women’s basketball and Gonzaga men’s basketball, over the course of a season and provide real-world examples of how human-related issues were addressed.

SPM 5936 What’s Really Important (3)

This course will be built around the question, “Is there a way to pursue greatness without collateral damage?” This course presents conversations with high achievers showing the paradox of achievement and strategies to navigate the undermining forces of society. The goal of the course will be to help you find perspective, create priority alignment, and answer the very personal question: “What’s really important?”

SPM 5206 Sport Ethics (3)

This course is designed to encourage sport managers to think about the moral and ethical dilemmas typically encountered by managers in the sport industry. The course will better acquaint and refine sport managers’ understandings of sport relative to issues such as sportsmanship, violence, performance enhancing drugs, race, gender, and media. This will better prepare students in this class to be agents of change within the sport industry to help it strengthen and prosper. This will be accomplished through student discussions, case studies analyses, formal debates, and the development of position papers on particular topics, which will be supplemented with lectures and readings.

After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe ethics and morals, and discuss their role and application to sport managers and the sport industry
  • Apply the theoretical and foundational concepts that support ethical and moral reasoning
  • Compare the similarities and differences of various ethical theories
  • Discuss factors that influence their decision making and avoid negative factors that may impact their ability to be an ethical sport manager
  • Identify, analyze, and debate specific issues relative to ethical dilemmas commonly encountered within the competitive sport context
  • Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication such as critical thinking, deductive reasoning, decision-making, and research skills