How to Become a High School Soccer Coach
Are you interested in becoming a high school soccer coach? That’s awesome! This is probably something you’ll look back on and be glad you did it.
Before you begin your journey to becoming a high school soccer coach, it’s important to understand the requirements and qualifications needed for the job.
Depending on your region and school, some high schools require coaches to obtain a coaching certification from a recognized organization and/or prior years of experience.
Additionally, you will most likely need to pass a background check and go through an interview process. Can you blame them?
In this article, I’ll provide some guidance on becoming a high school coach for a boy or girl’s soccer team.
Understanding the Role of a High School Soccer Coach
Role and Responsibilities
As a high school soccer coach, your primary responsibility is to train and develop the skills of your players.
If you’re lucky, you have players who have years of experience prior to coming up to you. This way you don’t need to teach them things like pass with the inside of their foot. Instead, you can focus on the team.
You will be responsible for organizing practices, creating game strategies, and ensuring that your players are physically and mentally prepared for games.
In addition to coaching, you will also need to manage administrative tasks such as sending messages to players and parents.
To become a successful high school soccer coach, you will need a variety of skills.
Firstly, you should have a strong understanding of the game of soccer, including the rules, strategies, and techniques.
You should also possess strong leadership and communication skills, as you will be responsible for motivating and guiding your team.
Additionally, you need a bit of patience. Depending on what you coach (Freshman, Junior Varsity, or Varsity), there may be a wide range of players. Some players will come into preseason in shape and ready to go. While others may be there because their parents made them play a fall sport. Whatever your situation is, you need to practice some patience over the fall season.
Importance of Sportsmanship
As a high school soccer coach, you are not only responsible for developing your players’ athletic abilities but also their character.
It is important to instill the values of sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for others in your players. This will not only help them become better athletes but also better members of society.
Encouraging positive behavior both on and off the field will help create a positive team culture and foster a sense of community among your players.
Do I Need a Coaching License?
If you are interested in becoming a high school soccer coach, you may be wondering whether you need a coaching license.
The answer is not straightforward, as it can vary depending on the state and school district where you plan to coach.
However, in general, having a coaching license can be beneficial and may even be required.
One type of coaching license is a certification from a recognized organization, such as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) or the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). These certifications can demonstrate that you have a certain level of knowledge and training in soccer coaching, which can be valuable when seeking a coaching position.
Some states and school districts may require coaches to have a certain level of certification in order to coach at the high school level. For example, the Illinois High School Association requires non-faculty coaches to have a coaching certification from an approved organization, such as the USSF or the NSCAA.
Even if a certification is not required, having one can still be beneficial. It can show that you are committed to your coaching career and willing to invest time and effort into improving your skills. It can also give you an edge over other candidates when applying for coaching positions.
If you are new to the community, a soccer certification from a credible institution can get you in the door. From there, your coaching experience and the needs of the team will be a priority.
Do I Need to Be a Teacher to Coach?
Being a teacher is typically not a requirement to become a high school soccer coach. However, some states and school districts may require coaches to be certified teachers or have a teaching certificate.
If you are not a teacher, you may need to meet other qualifications. For example, you may need to pass a background check, have coaching experience, or complete a coaching certification program. These requirements vary by state and school district, so it’s important to check with your local athletic department to find out what is required.
The benefit of being a teacher in a school that needs a soccer coach is that the staff and students are already familiar with you. You are in that ecosystem and the faculty understands who you are and what you are all about. I think that’s a big leg up.
Gaining Experience to Be a Soccer Coach
To become a high school soccer coach, you’ll want to have experience in coaching. In fact, some schools may require you to have 3+ years of experience at a certain level. Here are some ways to gain experience:
Playing soccer is the best way to gain experience and learn about the game. Join a local adult soccer club or team and play as much as you can. This will help you understand the game from a player’s perspective and learn different strategies and techniques.
Volunteer for Youth Coaching
Volunteering to coach a youth soccer team is a great way to gain experience. You can learn the fundamentals of skill development and coaching strategies while the kids are moldable.
Attend Coaching Clinics
Attending coaching clinics and workshops can help you learn about the latest coaching techniques and strategies. You can also network with other coaches and learn from their experiences.
Getting certified as a coach can help you gain credibility and show that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to coach a team. You can get certified by organizations such as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) or the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Create a Coaching Portfolio
Creating a coaching portfolio can help you showcase your coaching experience and skills. Include your coaching philosophy, coaching certifications, coaching experience, testimonials and any other relevant information.
Job Application Process
When applying for a high school soccer coach position, your resume is your first impression. Make sure to highlight your soccer coaching experience, other coaching experience, playing experience, and any relevant certifications or training.
Include the following information in your resume:
- Coaching experience, including the number of years and the level of play
- Soccer playing experience, including any awards
- Other experience managing or coaching youth sports
- Relevant certifications, such as coaching licenses or CPR/first aid certification
- Education, including any degrees or coursework related to coaching or physical education
- References from previous coaching positions or soccer-related jobs
Make sure your resume is well-organized and easy to read. Use bullet points to highlight your qualifications, and make sure to proofread for any errors or typos.
If you are selected for an interview, it is important to prepare ahead of time. Research the school and the soccer program, and come prepared with questions about the coaching position and the team.
During the interview, be confident and knowledgeable about your coaching experience and qualifications. Make sure to highlight your coaching philosophy and how you can contribute to the success of the team.
Here are some tips for a successful interview:
- Dress professionally and arrive early
- Command the room since leadership will be an important consideration
- Shake as many hands as possible
- Bring copies of your resume and any relevant certifications
- Be prepared to answer questions about your coaching experience and philosophy
- Ask questions about the school and the soccer program
- Follow up with a thank-you email or note after the interview
Remember, the interview is your opportunity to showcase your coaching skills and qualifications. Try to connect with the folks across the table. Be confident, clear, and professional throughout the process.
Becoming a high school soccer coach can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of success and make a positive impact on your team.
Remember to start by gaining experience in coaching and playing soccer, as well as obtaining the proper certifications and qualifications. Network with other coaches and attend clinics to stay up-to-date with the latest coaching techniques and strategies.
If you are simply looking for a stipend to pay for some expenses, coaching high school isn’t for you. But, if you are dedicated to improving the school’s soccer program, this could be a great opportunity!