Undoubtedly, football is the most popular sport in the United Kingdom. The premier league, which is broadcast to over I.5 billion people worldwide, proves this. Football coaches are the masters behind this incredible sport. They develop the knowledge and techniques, build teams and train players. If you are passionate about this game and love training people, it is high time you learnt what it takes to become a football coach.
What do Football Coaches do?
Apart from strategizing how to defeat opposing teams, football coaches;
- Advise players on a wide variety of sporting matters, such as avoiding injury
- Ensure the safety of players during training sessions
- Appoint team captains and assistant captains
- Work with assistant coaches to develop innovative training programs
- Identify and recruit new players into the team
- Update team executives and the media on the team’s progress.
Most football coaches combine coaching with other full-time professions. This means they often coach teams in the evenings during the week and attend competitive matches at the weekend. However, coaches who pursue full-time coaching work from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and attend games during the weekend.
Although football coaches review paperwork and compile reports in their offices, they spend most of their time at the training ground with other technical staff and players.
The salaries for football coaches in the UK vary widely among employers. Small community football clubs pay little salaries compared to well-established premiership clubs. According to the National Careers Service, football coaches working part-time earn between £7 and £10 an hour. The following table highlights salaries for full-time coaches;
Potential annual wage
Community football coaches
£13,500 - £24,000
£25,000 - £250,000
Education and Training
To enter this profession, you can begin by taking any of these three routes;
- Pursue Level 1 Award in Coaching Football or Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football – The latter requires individuals with coaching or playing experience while the former is suitable for individuals with little experience. Ensure the training center or college you choose to pursue these courses is accredited by the 14Sport Qualifications.
- Pursue the Football Association’s coaching qualifications – You can focus on learning to coach people with disabilities, children or youth.
- Pursue a bachelor’s degree in sports science, sports coaching or physical education.
Obtaining any of these qualifications will enable you to pursue advanced coaching qualifications offered by the FA or UEFA.
Important Skills and Abilities
Football coaches should have;
- Good communication skills
- Good instructional skills
- Confidence and self-belief
- Sound organising ad planning skills
- An ability to give tactful and helpful advice
- Energy and enthusiasm to motivate players
To improve your coaching skills and enhance your professional standing, you can pursue the UEFA B license. You will cover the following topics in the course of training;
- Fitness and nutrition
- Principles of defending, possession, attacking and counter attacking
- Set plays
- Training drills
- Player development
To qualify for the UEFA B license, you need to be at least 20 years old, a regular coach of an 11-a-side team and hold a level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football.
It does not stop here. If you are ambitious enough, you can apply for the UEFA A license, which covers topics such as match analysis, team motivation and player performance. Holders of this license must be reassessed after every five years.
Finally, there is the UEFA Pro license, which is mainly designed for managers in professional football. It covers leadership, management skills and handling the media.
As a qualified football coach, you could work for;
- Primary and secondary school teams
- College and university football teams
- Community football clubs
- Premiership clubs
Experienced coaches can also find jobs overseas.
Now you know how you can transform you passion for football into an exciting and rewarding coaching career!