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How To Be a Football Coach In The UK

How To Be a Football Coach In The UK

Competing in the world of football is a dream job for many people, but what if you want a more managerial role? Have you ever wanted to be responsible for ensuring the fitness of some of the world's best football players? Does the idea of being a key role in the development of players excite you? If so, then you may want to consider training to be a football coach!

Coaching a professional football team, especially one in the premier league can be just as rewarding as being a player, if not more so. Developing your players and improving their fitness is an incredibly important part of victory in a professional game. If you have always wondered how to be a football coach then we have just the article for you.

Below you will find exactly what steps you need to take to become a football coach with added tips to ensure you can finally achieve your dream job. We have also outlined some of the key qualifications and answered the most frequently asked questions so be sure to check out the bottom of the page to see those. Read on to see how you can score your dream job today!


Want to be a football coach?

So you want to be a football coach but you aren't sure what steps you need to take and how exactly you can achieve this? Well, the very first step you should take, is to figure out exactly what kind of coach you want to be and how much you are willing to dedicate to the football coaching life.

There are several pathways you can take in terms of becoming a football coach, each with their own required qualifications and years of experience. For example, a Children's Coach will require slightly fewer qualifications and less experience but can be just as rewarding as being a coach in a professional game in the premier league.

Future coaches should also be made aware, that there are plenty more pathways when it comes to football coaching as you can be a coach of a particular football player's role. The Scottish Football Association features a goalkeeping coach pathway suited for those of you who have a greater ability in preventing goals than scoring them. There is also a Futsal pathway which is ideal if you want to be a coach for a futsal team as opposed to regular football clubs.

There are many more pathways available in the world of coaching so deciding on where you want to work early on can help you focus on what job is best for you. It will also help you figure out what skills you will need and specific qualifications you require to forge your way into your dream career path.


Tips to Becoming a Professional Football Coach in the UK

Due to how fulfilling being a coach can be, it is a highly competitive career path and thus it can be fairly difficult to get a good coaching job. However, there are specific steps and courses you can take to best ensure you will get your dream coach job and become the next big coach in the premier league.


Top 5 Coaching Grassroots football Tips

Below you will find 5 tips that you can use to best improve your chances of becoming a Grassroots coach. Whether it's what qualifications you will need or how best to choose your coaching organisation, we have got you covered!


Football coaching qualifications

The very first step you will need to take in order to become a football coach is familiarising yourself with the different football coaching qualifications. There is a multitude of qualifications you can earn that will help you become a football coach in the premier league so ensuring you understand each one is vital.

There are a host of different qualifications available, which can be found at the bottom of this article, so deciding on what ranking you want to attain before starting your course is important. The higher the tier, the more effort and experience will be needed, so preparing yourself beforehand can save yourself lots of work further down the line.


DBS Certificate

 A DBS certificate is required for you to start training as a children's football coach and is required in most jobs where you work alongside children, but what exactly is a DBS certificate?

DBS or The Disclosure and Barring Service is a check that is used to prevent any unsuitable candidates from working alongside younger and vulnerable groups of people. A DBS check will look into your background and at any records, you may or may not have to ensure you can work alongside vulnerable people safely. Once a check has been made, your employed can view your certificate at any time to check to see if they are ok with the results.

Passing a DBS check is an extremely important path if you want to become a football coach and is required in a host of different jobs working with the young and the vulnerable. Before you beginning your coaching course ensure you have a DBS certificate stating you can start earning your county FA qualification.

Almost all clubs regardless of whether you will work with children and vulnerable people or not will usually ask for a DBS certificate. If you want to compete with other coaches, ensure you have passed your DBS check.


Choose a Coaching organisation

In the UK there are several main coaching organisations that you can choose to develop within, each offering their own unique coaching courses. One of the first things to do is to see what each organisation can offer you and what they expect from you. Coaching organisations will focus on different types of coaches so choosing one that aligns with your goals is a vital first step. The main organisation, however, and the one most commonly associated with the premier league is the FA or Football Association.

All the qualifications and courses featured today are provided through the Football Association as they are the best equipped to offer you finest coaching development. Learning as you practice your coaching career is a vital part of the job and can help you hone your skills and provide the best coaching ability a professional team will need. However, we do recommend you check out other coaching organisations as there may be one that is more suited to your specific job goals and needs.


Coaching experience 

Much like a host of other jobs, the more experience you have in that field the more skilled you will be and consequently the more hireable you will be. For the higher tiers of the coaching license, you will need to have had work experience for multiple years, so starting as early as you can is ideal. As you make your way through the different qualifications you will acquire skills and experience that will help you further down the line.

Working alongside players and a football academy or club is needed to qualify for the highest tier of football coach qualifications so start as soon as you can. Whether it's just volunteer experience in a football academy or helping players improve their skills part-time, all experience is useful and will help you stand out amongst other candidates.


The FA Level 2 license

Coaches that want to work alongside professional players and an adult football team will need to pass the second tier of coaching qualifications. To do this you will have to pass the first tier, as well as have the skills, qualifications and certificates necessary to qualify for the second.

All the qualifications you need are listed below and explained in more detail, but to earn the second-tier coaching badge you will need the following:

  • A Football Association First Aid/ Emergency aid certificate.
  • To have passed and earned the first tier of the FA's coaching qualifications.
  • Attended the FA's Safeguarding Children workshop.
  • Hold a 1st4sport Tier 1 award in football coaching


Once all of the above qualifications and certificates have been earned, you can start training to become a professional football coach of an adult team.


How to become a professional football coach?

Now you are familiar with the different sections of development and you have read our tips on how best to prepare for the premier league, how exactly do you become a football coach?

First, you must have earned the right qualifications you will need to suit the coaching tier you want to work in. For example, a children's coach will require fewer qualifications than if you were to work alongside a professional football team. Take some time to read the requirements needed below and ensure you have as much information as you can acquire to best prepare for a specific badge.

Once you have earned the needed badge and certificates you can then start asking teams and clubs if they need a coach or apply for general coaching jobs. Regardless of whether you work alongside the best teams in the world or an amateur football club, becoming a coach is extremely rewarding. Knowing that you have trained a variety of people to achieve their best in a game makes the job more than worth it!



What is a Football Coach exactly?

A football coach is a member of a football team that is responsible for developing the athletes and players of the team and ensuring their fitness levels are high. This means you will have to keep on top of the exercise routine and ensure your squad is performing as well as they can.

Football coaches also tend to get familiar with their squad which means it is a good idea to have decent social skills as you will usually build a rapport with the players. A football coach is an extremely satisfying and enjoyable job and should definitely be something to consider if you are sporty and enjoy being responsible for a team.


How do I start a career in football coaching?

The first step to starting your professional football coaching career is to ensure you know the steps you have to take in order to train to become a football coach. Try to familiarise yourself with the different levels and badges that you can earn and see what qualifications are needed for each tier (A guide to this can be found below).

Ideally, you will want to start working towards the FA Level 1 badge as soon as possible as this offers a compelling and needed introduction to coaching. While working towards these qualifications, try to earn experience wherever you can either within football clubs or doing related volunteer work.

As with most jobs, you will be constantly learning new things whilst you train towards being a professional football coach. Ensure you are dedicated and work towards your goals and you will become an excellent football coach in no time.


What is a UEFA Pro License

A UEFA pro licence is a coaching license that has been provided by the FA for coaches who have qualified for the level 5 award. This is the highest license available in the UK to football coaches and requires coaches to have passed all previous coaching levels. The license itself is valid for up to 2 years after that time coaches will need to be re-tested to see if they still have the qualifications needed.


How Many FA Coaching Badges Are There?

Overall there are 5 different levels of Football Association coaching badges that you can earn whilst preparing to be a football coach, with an additional level needed to perform at a high level of expertise. The different levels that you can train for are as follows:

  1. Level One: This is an introduction to the world of football coaching covering the basics you will need to know. Level 1 one will ensure you have the knowledge you need to offer clubs that school children under 7 a quality session.
  2. Level Two: Level 2 essentially builds on the foundations built up while preparing for level 1. This level offers advanced lessons that will help you determine your own coach philosophy and get you prepared for level 3.
  3. Level Three- UEFA B: The main aim of level 3 is to train you to meet the social needs of your team and improve your knowledge of technical, tactical, physical and psychological training. This is specially designed to encourage decision making and ensure you meet the needs of your players and any clubs you may work for.
  4. Level Four - UEFA A: Once again, this level builds upon the foundations set up during your level 3 sessions. Level 4 will help you develop any necessary skills and knowledge you will need for decent team development within a 11v11 environment.
  5. Level Five - UEFA Pro: The final level collates everything you have learned so far and offers you development on this. Level 5 will provide everything you need to build on your technical knowledge and ensure you have the strategies you need to train your team to be the best.
  6. The FA - Advanced Youth Award: This additional level is to teach you any physical, psychological and social disciplines to offer a high-quality development experience. Football coaches who take this level will be able to underpin a technical and tactical programme suited for experienced players and clubs.



What Are the Qualifications Football Coaches need in the UK?

To successfully qualify to be a football coach in the UK there are a few things you will need to have achieved or attained. Firstly you need to be aged 16 and over to begin earning your coaching qualifications. Once you have reached 16, you can then start earning the qualifications needed.

For each level of the Football Association coach path there are also individual requirements which are as follows:

  • Tier 1: Hold a current FA Emergency Aid Certificate and to have Attended the FA Safeguarding Children Workshop (Both are separate workshops/modules as part of the course)


  • Tier 2: Earn the first tier badge found above and hold a 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football Qualification. You must also have all the requirements of the previous tier.


  • Tier 3: For this tier, you must have completed the previous tier (with all requirements set out there) and hold a 1st4sport Tier 2 Award in Coaching Football Qualification. You must also be able to provide evidence that you work at a club/organisation in a paid role or volunteer and you have access to the right skill level players.


  • Tier 4: To qualify for this tier you need to have completed all the previous requirements listed so far. Coaches will also need to have their applications approved by the course director as well as have access to enough players to practice in a 11v11 environment. You should also have at least 5 years of senior experience in coaching within a football club or team.


  • Tier 5: For this final tier you will be required to have earned every other qualification thus far. You will also require to have had five years experience within the footballing world either as a coach, player-coach, manager, assistant manager, academy manager or as a technical director. Although it isn't required, attaining a valid FA advanced youth award is extremely desirable.



What are the Must-have Football Coach Skills?

There are a variety of different skills you will need to ensure your coaching ability is as good as it gets and that you can offer your chosen football club the best performance. Some skills are more applicable than others, but any skills related to coaching and sport, in general, can be a massive bonus. One of the most important duos of skills you will need is a decent mixture of patience and leadership. As you will be responsible for keeping your players fitness in check you will be expected to lead a training regime and offer aid to those who require it. This means you will be seen as a leader amongst the squad and will be expected to be patient with those who are struggling with the regime.

Another extremely vital skill you will require to be the best football coach you can is communication with other people. Due to the fact you will be leading a team, you will need to be able to communicate with the players effectively. You should also be able to determine what type of coach you are and adapt your course to suit your individual strengths.

Coaches are also expected to have a decent level of fitness as they will usually be taking part in the warm-up and exercise sessions alongside the players. Having the ability to keep up with your players is a massive boon as it will not only garner respect but will help ensure your coaching sessions are effective.


What is a Football Coach’s Salary in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, the average football coach can expect to earn an average salary of around £28,200 a year (which comes out to be around £14.40 an hour). The salary will fluctuate depending on your skill level with an entry wage usually being in the ballpark of around £18,200 a year. It is possible however to increase your salary up to £68,000 if you show dedication and work up towards it.


How To Become a Kids’ Football Coach in the UK?

To become a coach for a kids football team you will need to be over the age of 16 and have completed the first tier of the FA qualification listed above. This means you will need all the required certificates and course outlined above such as a first aid course and passed your DBS check. Once all the requirements have been earned and you have passed all checks, you can begin to coach children to perform their best in a football game.


Where to find the latest Football Coaching Jobs

You can find all the latest coach football jobs here