Throughout my professional career, I have had the opportunity to be close to hundreds, or even thousands, of Soccer Coaches. Coaches that reached the success they ambitioned, at different levels, and even some top coaches such as Leonardo Jardim, Rui Faria, Paulo Bento, Luiz Filipe Scolari, Mano Menezes, Fernando Santos and many, many others. I took every opportunity to get as much information as possible about the path they took to get to the point they reached. Of course all cases are different but much of the path is common.
As in many professions, the market has more demand than supply. Therefore, the potential coach finds some difficulties in penetrating the market. I hear, frequently, the question is “How to become a Soccer Coach?”.
In the next few lines, I’ll suggest you a route to reach that goal, while providing some tips on how to find some “shortcuts”.
How to become a Soccer coach step-by-step.
First step: Gain previous experience
If you are still a student and still not yet eligible for an initial certification course, I suggest you try to get experience right away. How? You can follow the technical team of your university, your school or even coach a street / neighborhood informal soccer team.
Of course this recommendation is also applicable to all of those who do not yet have coaching experience and are looking for it. I’m talking about soccer players, students from other areas other than sports and even those who just love the sport.
To all of them I recommend to watch a lot of Soccer (live or on tv) because you will be able to get a lot of information that will be useful in the future.
It is essential, at this stage, to seek, as soon as possible, for a “mentor”. Someone who has walked the same path, made mistakes, and is now in a position to help you avoid them. He can be a teacher from your school, a trainer from your neighborhood club, or just someone you recognize who has had experience with these matters.
At this stage, you should look to learn as much as possible. So I recommend that you take part of education courses, workshops, lectures, congresses and, of course, on-line courses!
Step two: Search certification
Notwithstanding the fact that in the first step you may have participated in different training courses, workshops, clinics, etc, at this stage you should look for a course that gives you a professional certification. These courses are usually promoted by the National Soccer Federations which, normally, delegate them to regional soccer associations. In many of these courses, some prior experience is already required – hence the importance of the first step.
In this step, you should find out which is the closest association to you that promotes this type of courses and apply for one of them.
The recruitment process and course duration differ greatly from continent to continent. Some are more restrictive and have longer and more complex content, others more simplified.
Once you have found such an association, ask for its regulations so that you can be aware of the whole process.
It is also important to know that some of these courses include internships as a specific subject of the course. These stages, which in some cases are long, are very useful components to gain more experience and allowing you to be closer to the pitch.
In some countries it’s also possible to get the professional certification thru a college degree on physical education or sports.
Of course this is just the beginning of the process that will allow you to start your coaching career. In future articles, I will elaborate on each of these phases in more detail.
For now, I also want to offer you a set of useful tips that will be developed in future articles:
- Search for your niche
- Invest in a second language
- Insanely seek training
- Learn techniques on how to promote yourself as a coach
- Develop transversal skills
- Look for preferred markets.
I hope that this article helped you to know how to become a soccer coach! Good luck following your dreams!