Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and though it is not as popular in some countries as others, it is constantly growing. So as the popularity grows the need for more soccer coaches globally will become a heightened priority globally. So with that being something that is inevitable, in this guide we will break down the reasons for becoming a coach, the education needed and the steps to take to make this a reality.
All of this is geared to hopefully inspire and make your road to becoming a soccer coach easier. After all the more you know the easier the process will be. But let’s start with the reasons for someone to become a coach.
Why Become a Soccer Coach?
Even if you love the sport and it's all you can talk about, there will be many that ask the question why?
Here are some of the reasons to start a journey to becoming a soccer coach:
- Getting to spend more time with your kids
- Coaching youth and kids will allow you to play a key role in your community
- You will be able to be a role model
- You will be able to help others row their love and skills in something you are passionate about
- You will get to build your reputation in your community
- Build your leadership skills
- Networking to gain future opportunities in the soccer community
- Looks good on a resume
- Personal advancement
These are some of the reasons for you to get into coaching soccer. If you get into it and love it, and want to pursue a professional career in it, here are some of the educational requirements needed to do that.
No matter what level you are planning to coach at, the very first thing you will need is a passion and the knowledge to lead a team of players matching their level of experience. You need basic leadership skills like communication and time management. Here is a look at the educational requirements per level.
Recreational Youth Leagues
These coaching positions require limited or no certification for you to coach them. There is, of course, a background check, but that is really all that you would need to get this entry level position.
When you are looking to manage youth clubs at a competition level you will most likely need to obtain a license. In the US, each state and league have their own regulations and process. However, a basic guideline is provided by the USSF (United States Soccer Federation) for certification that will be needed. At this level, the coach must have at least an ‘E’ level license. Then as the team's age raises so does the license required. From ‘E,’ a ‘C’ license is required for teams consisting of kids up to 14 years of age.
At this level, the USSF requires the potential coach to have no less than a ‘B’ class license, and at the college level, though not a written doctrine, most coaches are expected to have a bachelor’s degree as well.
If you have worked your way up to looking into a pro level coaching position then you will need an ‘A’ level license. This is usually done by working through some of the previous coaching levels and then finding yourself in the position to be able to apply for these types of coaching jobs.
Each one of these licenses has specific classroom hours required and other stipulations to complete before being issued. But once you have your license you are good to go and ready to get out there on the job hunt. Next, we will talk about the steps to take to become a soccer coach.
Path to Becoming a Soccer Coach
So, you want to be a soccer coach. If you have gotten this far in our guide, your answer is definitely yes. So now you know the reasons why you want to become a coach and the education requirements, so it’s time to answer the big question of how to become a soccer coach.
Step 1 – Volunteer
Starting at the recreational level is always a good way to begin. Many teams are always looking for someone to help them out. Some people think that these teams only use their parent and teacher pool, but that is not the case. Really anyone can apply to help out and after a few small steps like a background check, you could be the next coach to some young soccer players looking to be the next Messi or Renaldo. By starting with volunteering if you are looking to get a more permanent and career orientated coaching position this will look good on that application.
Step 2 – Hit the Books
You know you will need some level of license to even be considered for a more serious coaching position, so while volunteering start getting in those class hours. Make sure to know what age bracket you are looking to coach so that you can get to working on the license-specific requirements and so that you will know how much to budget for the license. The license can cost anywhere from $50 up.
Step 3 – Apply and Interview
Once you get to the point in your career that you have your license and are ready to get out there in the coaching world, the only thing left is to hit those job boards. Once you have found the job that sparks your interest, send out your resume and get ready for a bunch of interviews.
These steps are just some of the paths to becoming a soccer coach. But they are the most common.
Now you know how to become a soccer coach and what to expect when you set out to become one. With the information in this guide, hopefully, we have made this process a little less confusing and as low stress as possible. Now all that’s left is for you to get out there and get on that field, whistle in hand and coach some soccer players to victory.