How To Become A High School Soccer Coach?

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Bringing your own succer team to success can be exceptionally rewarding.

However, becoming a great soccer coach takes plenty of time and effort. Not only that, but you need to work not only on your professional but also your personal skills.

Today, I am going to talk about how to become a high school soccer coach. Among other things, I will cover the important skills and credentials necessary to start working as a soccer coach at a high school.

Do Good Soccer Players Make Good Coaches?

If you are a good soccer player, you won’t necessarily be a good coach. This is true the other way too – brilliant coaches haven’t necessarily been brilliant soccer players. 

You have some examples like Zinedine Zidane who has both been a successful player and a successful coach, but these are ultra-rare.

The reason for this is because the skills that make a good coach and a good player are not the same.

With all that in mind, if you are a great soccer player, don’t assume that you will be a good high school coach. And if things don’t work the way you want, don’t become disappointed – it’s a pretty normal thing for great players not to make great coaches.

Skills You Need To Become A High School Soccer Coach

In my opinion, your communication skills and your character play a bigger role in coaching compared to playing. 

All in all, I think that the key skills for becoming a high school soccer coach are the following four:

  • Communicability. First up, you should be an excellent communicator. Conveying your ideas and remarks in a clear way is key to becoming a successful coach 
  • Rigor. During training, your players have one goal – becoming better at soccer. Your and your players’ efforts should be directed at achieving this primary goal. You should not allow your players to waste precious time during training. Your team is no place for quarrel and sloth as well.
  • Composure. High school kids are on their way to establishing their position in life and among their peers. With that, they may often fight between each other, as well as show unwillingness to follow your instructions. In such cases, you should remind your players why they are in your team without giving in to frustration.
  • Fairness. Needless to say, your #1 goal is to make your soccer team better at what they do. However, you should also not forget that you are dealing with individuals, and you should show respect and fairness toward their personal issues. You have to remind players why they are in the team, but you shouldn’t be a cold-hearted jerk toward them.

Notice that I only talked about personal skills. You may fairly easily obtain soccer skills by completing a couple of courses and following tips from more experienced coaches. However, that is the easy part – you actually need to be a great coach not only by diploma but also by character.

I think that respect toward the coach is a key driver for soccer players. Working with a jerk coach is really demotivating for athletes.

With that, be fierce as a coach but don’t forget that you are dealing with human beings. This way, your players will respect your rigor and will not hesitate to do what you want.

Do You Need Any Official Coaching Credentials To Become A Coach?

Now, what about skills and knowledge? Well, you may learn some coaching theory and obtain the necessary knowledge to become a soccer coach by completing coaching courses.

Aside from knowledge, course certificates serve as coaching credentials. Some high schools also won’t even consider hiring you as a coach if you don’t have credentials.

Among the most demanded certifications for high school soccer coaches are:

  • United States Soccer Federation License B. To be able to take the B course, you need to first obtain License D and C. Before that, you’ll also have to complete a few Grassroots courses. The link I provided gives all the information 
  • National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) certification. Getting certified by the NFHS is also a good way to get into high school coaching. For some high schools, an NFHS certificate may also be a prerequisite for coaching. Additionally, you may need to complete some other NFHS courses, depending on your state.
  • United Soccer Coaches High School Diploma. United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) offers an online high school coaching course as well.

Depending on the course, it may take you from several months to several years to get certified for high school coaching. The U.S. Soccer License B is particularly difficult to obtain because it requires you to hold previous licenses (B and C) for at least a year each.

With that said, you are going to gain some invaluable skills from these courses. Aside from that, as mentioned earlier, some high schools may not even consider you for coaching if you do not have official coaching credentials.

While taking a coaching course can be exceptionallly beneficial for your career, the certification requirements of high schools can be different. A United Soccer Coaches diploma may not be sufficient for becoming a coach in one school but be perfectly fine elsewhere.

With that in mind, I suggest that you first have a look around and determine which credentials high schools generally want to see. You don’t want to spend money on a coaching diploma and then find out that it doesn’t even land you a coaching job at the desired high school.

Do You Have To Teach To Be A Coach?

Another question you may be wondering about is whether you need to actually teach at a high school to become a coach.

Well, this depends on the high school. Some high schools will not consider non-employees as coaches, while others will be more open and won’t really care where you come from.

You just have to look around and determine which schools require employment and which don’t. With that said, being a teacher at a high school can be highly beneficial for becoming a soccer coach. If you are already teaching somewhere, then the beginning of your coaching career may proceed a little smoother.

How Much Does A High School Soccer Coach Make?

Even if passion is the driver of your desire of becoming a soccer coach, you are most likely also interested in the material aspect of working as a high school soccer coach.

According to, the median salary of a high school soccer coach in the US is $40,888. This was as of August 27, 2020.

Additionally, 25% of high school soccer coaches earn over $55,487, while 10% earn over $68,779. At the other end of the spectrum, 10% earn below $25,594, while 25% earn below $32,882.

All in all, a soccer coach definitely is far from being the highest-paid job in the US. However, how much you will actually earn depends on the school, your experience, certifications, and education.

The Overtime

In the end, the first step to becoming a high school soccer coach is getting a coaching certificate. It may take some time before you reach high school level, but if you are firm about your desire of working as a coach, it could be worth it.

Aside from professional knowledge, don’t also forget to work on your personal skills. In my opinion, these are key in coaching. They are also much more difficult to improve, so I think that you should focus on your personal skills more than on professional ones.

James Cunningham
James Cunningham
James lives in Chicago with his wife and three daughters. Originally from the UK, soccer has allowed him to travel the world. Now a youth coach, he fully enjoys teaching others about the game that he loves so much. His favorite team is Manchester United.