How to Become a Soccer Coach: Step by Step Guide

How do you become a soccer coach? Becoming a soccer coach is a very fulfilling career for many people. If you have experience playing the beautiful game, a passion for the sport, and enjoy teaching others, then becoming a soccer coach might be the right job for you.

As a soccer coach you get to see your players improve not only as athletes on the field, but as human beings off the field too. You also get to stay surrounded by the sport you loved growing up and you are able to pass down your experiences to younger players.

In this blog, I will cover what a soccer coach is, what they do, the skills required for this profession, as well as give tips and step-by-step instructions on how to become a soccer coach.

How to Become a Soccer Coach

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What is a Soccer Coach?

A soccer coach is a professional instructor who teaches players the skills they need to become better soccer players and human beings in general. They teach essential skills, plan training sessions, and come up with game strategies, all while building teamwork and boosting the morale of the players.

Coaches wear many hats, juggling individual player goals with team goals while staying up-to-date on the latest sports science and medicine. A coach’s main job is to pass down their expertise and knowledge to their players as well as get the best out of them.

How to Become a Soccer Coach

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What does a Soccer Coach do?

Whether a coach is coaching youth players or professional players the responsibilities are very similar although of course they vary slightly based on the level of players being coached. Here are some of the main jobs of a soccer coach.

How to Become a Soccer Coach

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Soccer Coaching Skills

Now that you are familiar with what a soccer coach does, let’s discuss the main skills needed to carry out those tasks properly.

  • Communication
    • Coaches need to be good communicators and must convey their messages clearly to players so that everyone is on the same page
  • Listening
    • Along with communication skills comes listening skills. As a coach it is not only important to be able to talk clearly, but it is just as important to listen to your players and give them a chance to voice their thoughts and opinions.
  • Understanding of the game
    • As a soccer coach you must know all of the soccer basics to help teach them to the team
  • Be inspirational
    • Successful soccer coaches also bring inspiration to the field, motivating players to push their boundaries past their comfort zone to improve.
  • Be organized
    • Organization is very important as a coach in order to have practice sessions planned out properly and to help keep track of a player’s progress.
  • Patience
    • Patience is a virtue in coaching, as it takes time for players to develop skills and get the right technique.
  • Be punctual
    • Finally, as a soccer coach you need to set a good example for your students and always show up on time.
How to Become a Soccer Coach

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Steps for Becoming a Soccer Coach

Now that you have a better understanding of what a soccer coach is, what they do, and what skills are required to become a successful soccer coach, let’s discuss the steps you can take to start coaching soccer.

Step 1: Play Soccer

Having a background in playing soccer provides invaluable experience and insights for someone trying to become a soccer coach. Although it is not mandatory, this firsthand experience of playing the game yourself not only enhances your understanding of the sport but also allows you to relate better to your players.

Step 2: Choose Your Coaching Level

The next step is to determine the level at which you want to coach at such as grassroots coaching, a high school team, a college team, or even professional soccer teams. Each level presents unique challenges and opportunities, requiring different skill sets and qualifications.

As a beginner soccer coach it is best to start with grassroots teams and youth teams before you move on to coaching more advanced players.

Step 3: Volunteer Coaching:

One of the best ways to get first hand experience coaching is to volunteer as a main or assistant soccer coach. Working with young players in a recreational setting allows you to apply all of the coaching techniques learned through formal training and workshops.

Step 4: Attend Coaching Clinics and License Courses

To gain even more experience and learn from accredited institutions, it is crucial for aspiring coaches to enroll in coaching clinics and courses to expand their knowledge and coaching skills. These specialized workshops cover a wide range of topics, including technical skills, tactical strategies, and player development methods.

By participating in coaching clinics, you can learn from experienced professionals, exchange ideas with other coaches, and stay updated on the latest trends and innovations in soccer coaching.

Step 5: Obtain Coaching Certifications:

The next step if you want to take your coaching more seriously is to pursue coaching certifications offered by reputable organizations such as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). These certifications validate your coaching expertise and demonstrate your commitment to professional development.

Step 6: Pursue Higher Education:

Similar to the last step, if you want to gain even more knowledge it is important for aspiring coaches to consider pursuing higher education in fields relevant to sports coaching, such as physical education, sports management, or kinesiology.

A formal education not only deepens your understanding of sports science but also provides valuable insights into athletic development, injury prevention, recovery, sports psychology, nutrition, hydration, supplementation, and many other important topics.

Additionally, having a degree can improve your coaching credentials and broaden your career opportunities within the sports industry, since you will have more to offer than just coaching.

Step 7: Start as an Assistant Coach:

Once you have gained enough knowledge from grassroots courses, or any other more advanced online course for coaching, it can be a great idea to begin your coaching career as an assistant coach

As an assistant coach you will gain practical experience and learn from seasoned head soccer coaches. Assisting a more experienced coach allows you to observe coaching techniques, interact with players, and contribute to team strategies under mentorship.

Step 8: Apply for Advanced Coaching Positions:

As you gain more experience and confidence in your coaching abilities, consider applying for advanced coaching positions at higher levels of competition. Whether it’s coaching local soccer clubs, college teams, professional clubs, or national youth programs, seek opportunities that align with your coaching philosophy and career goals.

Step 9: Continued Education and Mentorship:

One important aspect of being a successful soccer coach is to always be eager to learn more. Similar to how you would like your students to want to learn more, it is also important to want to keep learning as a coach. This way you are able to improve your current coaching techniques and you are able to learn new ones.

Step 10: Embrace the Coaching Journey:

Last, but not least, learn to embrace the coaching journey. As a new soccer coach it is important to understand that the path to becoming a successful soccer coach is a journey filled with challenges, triumphs, and learning opportunities.

Embrace each experience, whether it’s a coaching clinic, a championship win, or a setback, as an opportunity for growth and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the best coaches in the world of soccer?

Some of the best coaches in world soccer who are still actively coaching today include Pep Guardiola who manages Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp who manages Liverpool FC.

What is the job environment like of a soccer coach?

The job environment of a soccer coach varies widely, from coaching professional teams in high-stakes competitions to nurturing talent at the grassroots level in local clubs. Coaches may work with youth leagues, high school teams, or in a college environment, each with its own unique work environment.

What are the best soccer coaching licenses to get according to experienced coaches?

Experienced coaches often recommend getting coaching licenses offered by reliable organizations such as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) or European football associations like UEFA. Among the best licenses to get are the UEFA B license and UEFA Pro license, which are widely recognized for their amazing curriculum and high standards.


Becoming a soccer coach is an fulfilling journey for those with a passion for the sport and a desire to guide and inspire others. From grassroots coaching to professional levels, the role offers opportunities for personal and professional growth while shaping the next generation of players.

Through dedication, ongoing education, and a commitment to excellence, aspiring coaches can embark on a fulfilling career path in the world of the beautiful game.

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