How to become a football coach

If you love football and are looking for a job in this busy and exciting industry, then football coaching might be the career for you. Incredibly fulfilling, constantly challenging and very close to the action, becoming a football coach is one of the best ways of turning your hobbies and passions into a long-lasting career.

If you’re wondering how to become a football coach, or even just want to know more about the roles of a football coach, then you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll be going through everything you need to know about becoming a football coach, from what your day-to-day responsibilities would be, to what salary you could earn.

What does a football coach do?

The roles and responsibilities of a football coach are very varied, making for a very exciting list of day-to-day tasks. As the team’s main trainer, a football coach is responsible for the physical and mental wellbeing of the players and should be entirely dedicated to helping them improve their footballing skills as much as possible. 

To be a good coach, you’ll need a wide range of football coaching skills - and some of them might surprise you. Remember, you aren’t just passing on skills, as a football coach you’ll need to be organised, personable and share your knowledge and passion for the sport with everyone you work with. Find a full list of the roles and responsibilities of a football coach below:

  • Plan full and detailed coaching programs, tailored to the needs of your players

  • Run drills and activities for football training sessions

  • Work one-on-one with players to address specific weaknesses in their performance

  • Provide feedback to players to help them improve their skills

  • Help encourage and support players emotionally

  • Give nutrition advice to players to help them improve their general health

  • Maintain awareness of current coaching guidelines 

  • Follow and instruct others on safety rules in order to reduce the risk of injury.

Not the same in every club, the roles and responsibilities of a football coach also change depending on the place. If you’re working with children, you’ll need to focus on encouraging young players at an early age while football coaches at a professional level need a much more in-depth understanding of the game and the players they work with. Whatever role you’re interested in, make sure you read the full football coach job description. This will show you more about a specific coaching role and what skills are most important to that club.

What is the difference between a head coach and a manager?

Two careers in football that work very closely with each other, football coaches and managers share the responsibility of trying to draw the best out of their players in order to win matches. While the roles and responsibilities of a football coach are primarily done behind the scenes, working to improve a player’s skills in order to boost their match performance, a manager performs a more organisational role. 

Acting as the final decision maker, a football manager will listen to the advice of their head coach to devise strategies and select the players to play on match days. Without the guidance of the football coach, who works directly with the players and knows their strengths and weaknesses more than anyone else, the manager wouldn’t be able to do their job successfully.

How much does a football coach get paid?

If you’re seriously considering becoming a football coach, you’ll need to consider the practical elements of the role. Of course, working within your favourite sport, doing what you love day after day, is an incredibly important part of what will drive you through your career but knowing you’ll earn enough money to live on is important too. Fortunately, a standard football coach salary can be anywhere from £18,000 to £28,000 a year, depending on the level of football and, with plenty of room for development in many clubs, this career path provides a very respectable salary. There are also many football coaching volunteer opportunities, if this is something you’d like to pursue as more of a hobby than a career. 

What qualifications do you need to be a football coach?

In order to become a football coach, you must first have completed and passed a coaching qualification that is recognised by the Football Association. The FA also offer their own online football coaching courses which cover all the skills and knowledge required to be a good coach. View the full list of football coaching courses offered by the FA on their website.

Football coach jobs can also be very competitive and any additional football coaching qualifications you can earn is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd. Many universities offer football coach courses such as ‘football coaching and development’ or ‘coaching science’ and, if you’re interested in going down a route of further education, this is an excellent place to start.

Outside of education, having football coaching work experience on your CV can make you a more appealing candidate for a football coach job. Football coaching apprenticeships are also a good route to go down as you gain plenty of hands-on experience working alongside experienced coaches who can answer any questions you may have.

How do I start a career in football coaching?

The steps you need to take towards becoming a football coach will depend on the football coaching qualifications you currently have. Fortunately, even if you haven't completed any courses, qualifications or football coaching apprenticeships, this is still a viable career option. All you need to have is a passion for football and you can build the right skills and experience from there.

Whatever route you’re taking to becoming a football coach, make sure you’re constantly developing your skills in the game. At Avec Sport, we have a wide range of football coaching jackets and coats to keep you warm and comfortable while you work on the pitch. Whether you’re in need of a new padded coat for long coaching sessions outdoors or a warm fleece jacket for traveling with your team, find it online at Avec Sport.