So, you have been coaching youth soccer for a while now and want to take your career to the next level. You have experience on the pitch and get great results and feedback from the local youth teams you teach.
Or maybe you fancy a change of career, and coaching youth sports stands out to you? Either way, you have stumbled upon the idea of becoming a youth soccer coach for high school and want to know how to get into that role. Let’s break it down.
Coaching Youth Soccer
To be a good youth soccer coach, you need to be patient and personable, along with many other qualities. It doesn’t just require you to be good at soccer; in fact, you do not necessarily need to be a great soccer player to be a great coach at all!
What it does require is for you to;
- Plan comprehensively.
- Host engaging and fun training sessions.
- Have the ability to merge freedom and discipline.
- Be supportive and tolerant.
- Be balanced in your teaching approach.
Thankfully, these are all traits a good coach will learn on the go and pick up from feedback on how the sessions turn out.
Teaching youth soccer players new skills and techniques while honing their current ability and allowing them room to make mistake and direct them supportively, these are traits that will make you an exceptional youth soccer coach. So you will want to get as much experience as possible in this role if you want to take the next step of high school coaching.
Obtaining High School Coaching Credentials
Coaching youth soccer is not just about the physical aspect of training, hosting sessions, and implementing new soccer drills. In the US, in order to coach at a high school level, you will need to match the necessary criteria of coaching theory to show you possess the required knowledge for the role. This will be obtained by completing courses.
Upon completion of your required coaching courses, you will gain certificates, which will act as your coaching credentials when applying for jobs with high schools. For most high schools, these credentials are paramount, and you will not be considered without them.
Some Required Certification Includes:
- Grassroots Courses
- United States Soccer Federation License D, C, and B
- National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) certification
- United Soccer Coaches High School Diploma
Of course, different high schools will require different qualifications. Listed are just some of the most popular.
As you can see, this isn’t a quick process, so you need to be prepared and in it for the long run. For instance, with the USS License D – you will need to be in receipt of licenses C and B for a minimum of one year. You can either take the approach of obtaining all qualifications recommended first, and then apply for jobs, or you could inquire at local high schools individually to find out their respective entry levels and qualifications required. This could save you a lot of time and money!
I personally prefer the approach of finding out what each local highschool’s requirements are and adjusting to meet those expectations.