Here’s What You Need To Be A High School Soccer Coach (Explained!)

A career as a high school teacher is a fulfilling and rewarding career. So, what do you need to do to become a high school teacher? We have the answers.

To become a high school soccer coach, you need to experience playing soccer in practice, have coaching credentials, have a coaching license, and be armed with various skills such as organizational skills. Having a degree comes in handy in a career as a coach.

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what do I need to be a high school soccer coach


Becoming a high school coach in the US can be a fulfilling career for anyone with a passion for soccer. As a coach, your job is to train, teach, lead, and mentor young players so they can play their best. However, before pursuing a soccer coach career, you will need to work on your personal skills and fulfill certain requirements. 

In this article, you will learn what it takes to become a successful high school soccer coach.

Experience Playing Soccer

Although not necessary, having experience as a soccer player will place you at an advantage, especially if the position is competitive. Previous playing experience will give you knowledge of the game, making it easy to coach high school players. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that being a good soccer player does not automatically mean that you will be a good soccer coach; you will still need coaching skills to become a successful coach.

Coaching Credentials

You need to complete coaching courses and obtain the coaching credentials necessary for high school coaching. Usually, soccer high school coaches in the US can receive up to 6 certifications, which range from A to F levels. You will need certifications ranging from A to C if you want to coach at a national level in top leagues like Major League Soccer (MLS). On the other hand, E or F certifications can do well for youth club-level coaching.

When it comes to coaching high school players, you must obtain a B certification which requires a 20-hour classroom course and up to 48 hours spent in field sessions. The regulations for certifications vary with each state and from one high school to another. For some high schools, you may need a National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) certification while others may need you to complete other courses. 

However, it is a prerequisite to attend classes and state workshops to learn different drills, techniques, and tactics. Some states may also want you to attend coaching clinics, which are specialized for teaching specific coaching techniques. Furthermore, you can also consider getting a CPR certification, which proves useful in the event of an accident.

Coaching License

Besides coaching credentials, you also need a coaching license to operate as a high school soccer coach. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSSAA) provides two types of coaching licenses depending on the level of experience and the player’s needs. Beginners who work with players aged between 6 and 12 need to acquire a state diploma license. 

High school coaches who work with players aged between 12 and 19 need to take a regional licensing test. By taking this test, you will learn the tactical ways for ensuring player development. As a high school coach, you can take the United States Soccer Federation License B course if you want to train a team up to the college level. However, you will need to first take and complete the License D and C courses. 

Obtain the Necessary Skills

Several skills are essential requirements for high school coaches. A key skill to becoming a high school coach is effective communication with both the young players and their parents,and so is the need to solve problems. The other skill is the knowledge of soccer. It can be difficult to help the team achieve its goal if you don’t understand the rules of the game, the strategies to implement, thee qualifying procedures for top tournaments like the US Open Cup, and professional soccer leagues like USL Pro.

A successful high school coach should have great organizational skills to plan practices, drills, and manage players’ performance. Also, it takes a lot of patience and composure to work with high school kids. Overall, you should have useful personal skills that will motivate your players to improve their techniques.

Volunteer Practice

Volunteering to coach a local team is a good way to promote yourself and increase your chances of landing a high school coach job. Besides, it is a great way to gain the necessary skills and experience, particularly if you are a beginner. Take every opportunity to network and build helpful connections with other coaches and other key professionals in the industry.

Get a Degree

To become a high school coach, it helps to get a degree in a field related to coaching such as sports science, sports medicine, nutrition and fitness, and more. By earning a bachelor’s degree, you will get training in exercise physiology and physical training. You will also learn about sports nutrition and injury prevention. 

If you want to teach at a public high school, it is highly recommended to get a teaching certificate on top of your bachelor’s degree. Besides being a requirement for some public schools, earning a teaching certificate can help improve your coaching and showcase your expertise to potential employers. If you’ve not yet earned your teaching certificate, make sure that you actively participate in games played by teams throughout the year.

Key Takeaways

  • The right certification is essential for high school soccer coaching. It can take months or years to get certified depending on the course.
  • Communication, patience, organization, punctuality, and knowledge of soccer are some crucial high school soccer coach skills.
  • Obtaining a bachelor’s degree allows you to demonstrate your depth of experience.
  • You don’t have to be a certified teacher to coach soccer in high school. However, teaching experience can be an added advantage when starting your coaching career.
  • To be a high school coach, you will need a coaching license. 

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