Football Coaching:- How To Become A Football Coach In England
Football coaching opportunities are increasing as more clubs (professional and amateur) understand the importance of a qualified football coach. Fully qualified coaches can expect to earn a reasonable salary. A young football coach starting a full-time job might expect to earn £16,000 to £20,000 per year, a top flight Premier League coach may earn over £1,000,000. Most people become football coaches because they love the game and want to pass on their knowledge and not for the financial rewards. A football coach does not necessarily have to be an excellent footballer to become an effective coach. Some skill is useful in order to demonstrate but the ability to communicate clearly is more important.
Football Coaching Pathway
Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football
This is the first certificate on the coaching ladder. It is suitable for people (aged 16 or over) that want to coach young people in the fundamentals of football. Most coaches would start at this level, volunteering a few hours per week to help with local youth football. The certificate covers:-
- Safety and Ethics
- Effective coaching of young people
- Fundamentals of football skills and coaching techniques
- How to assess your own performance as a coach and how to further develop your skills
The FA recommend (although this may not be necessary for experienced footballers) that you complete this certificate before progressing to Level 2.
Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football
In order to gain this certificate you will need to reasonably fit and have some fairly recent experience of playing football. This is a serious qualification and requires significant commitment. Gaining this qualification will enable you to seek paid employment as a football coach. The Level 2 course includes:-
- Principles and ethics of football coaching
- Planning coaching sessions
- Taking coaching sessions and assessing their effectiveness
- Advancement of football as a sport
In order to gain this certificate you also need to:-
- Pass the Football Association's (FA's) exam "The Laws of the Game" (or be a qualified referee- level 7 or above)
- Hold the FA's Emergency First Aid Certificate
- Attend the FA workshop "Child Protection and Best Practice"
If you wish to progress further to work with players at Academy level and above you will need Level 3.
Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Football (UEFA "B" Coaching Award)
Because this is a UEFA accredited qualification this certificate will open up many opportunities within the professional game. The certificate builds upon the knowledge and skill acquired at Level 2. The assessment process gives an idea of the intensive commitment required to gain this qualification:-
- Implement a ten week programme for your team
- Observation by an assessor while you deliver two training sessions
- Answer oral questions about your performance
- Deliver two further training sessions as part of your final assessment
You should allow between 6 to 12 months to gain your certificate.
To make further progress in the professional game there are two further qualifications, UEFA "A" Coaching Award and UEFA Pro Coaching Licence (now a requirement for Premier League managers). This demonstrates that the FA certificates provide a structured plan for advancement from grass roots volunteers to Premier League management.
Football Coaching Courses
Training and assessment for any of the above courses must be completed at an FA Approved Centre. The majority of the these approved centres are run by the FA either at a county or national level. County courses tend to be run over a period of time to enable students to complete them by studying in the evening and weekends. National courses are more intensive and some may be completed in a few days.
Football Coaching Costs
The cost of courses will vary between Approved Centres. You should certainly shop around and seek the advice of your local county FA.
If you are keen to become a football coach you should approach local county FA (contact details may be found at the FA website- theFA.com). They will be able to advise you about:
- Local Approved Centres and Courses and costs
- National Approved Centres and Courses and costs
- Opportunities to volunteer to coach local youth teams.
If you love football but cannot be a professional footballer then you should consider a career in football coaching. You will have to show your commitment by working as a volunteer and by gaining your certificates. However the FA's system provides a clear progression of qualifications to match your ambition.