How To Become A Football Coach – A Step By Step Explanation

How To Become A Football Coach – A Step By Step Explanation

So you want to know how to become a football coach in Nigeria or someplace else? Have you ever played football? No? Then why do you want to be a coach in a game you never had an interest in? 

I'm aware of the argument in some quarters that you don't have to have played football to become a soccer coach. That's a big LIE!

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They tell you stuff like the best coaches in the world never played the game. Go and check, you'll find that all soccer coaches played football, even if it's not professionally. Now let me take you back to the issue at hand.

A professional football coach is a job position that countless young people fancy.

To become a coach in Nigeria or any other country for that matter is not an easy task

A coach is apparently less popular only when juxtaposed to a football player. But, you must recognise that being a professional football coach in a professional team is a very challenging task.

It is the sole duty of the coach to sign and sell players with the club’s budget in mind. He also has the task of promoting players, experimenting with their positions, working with the team and with certain players alone, and so on.

Do you see this as something that you can deal with? Then keep reading because I will reveal the various steps that you should make to become a professional football coach.

Steps On How To Become A Professional Soccer Coach

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Playing Experience

Can you coach soccer if you never played? Big question which I spoke about in my opening salvo.

If you are still young, you should clearly try playing for a local club first. Playing experience is not needed, but it can be very helpful.

It gives you an understanding of how teams work and what you should do to improve the harmony in the team.

Many of the famous professional football coaches you know, as I told you earlier, were successful football players before they chose to become coaches.

Become A Coach In The Local Club And Learn

Check and find out if there is a job in some of the local clubs around your area. You can also check online for football coaching jobs. I bet there are loads of them.

Note that you don’t need a semi-pro or pro club to gain coaching experience so don’t just bother trying to select clubs, just apply to anyone you find. Being too picky won't help.

The idea is for you to get more experience and understand the duties and responsibilities of a coach in any team.

And if there are no paying coaching job, don’t worry, ask them if they need volunteers at least for the youth team and GO for it!

Use that time to learn. It would be helpful if the club has another general manager so you can learn from their expertise and experience.

Get Educated

With the Internet, you can now get a coaching degree online.

And if you have the chance and you think that taking physical classes/courses is choicer, then go for such courses.

Having a degree in coaching will afford you a better chance of being hired. Clearly, you will learn more about this activity too.

Get Certification

This is where I let you in on how to become a certified soccer coach.

If you want to become a professional soccer coach you will also need a certification.

Each football association has different rules and terms about issuing such certifications. Study more about these terms and strive to satisfy all the requirements before applying.

Many football associations have different levels of certification which normally depend on the time you’ve spent as a coach.

There are situations when you need to spend ten times as a coach and meet some standards before becoming a real pro.

Watch The Games

You need to watch football games from a tactical point of view, it might be very helpful. Take into account what formations work fine for various players.

Keep Learning And Upgrading Yourself

Remember that for you to stay a successful professional football coach you must observe the latest trends and news in this profession.

Even though the rules of football don't really change, the playing style and tactics, as well as strategies are evolving all the time.

I have put together some Q&A on how to become a soccer coach, see them all below.

Q&A On How To Become A Football Coach


Do soccer coaching licenses expire?


Coaching Licenses do not expire; the only exception is the USSF A License, which needs to be renewed every 4 years.


What age do I need to be to start the educational process of becoming a manager?


You need to be 16 in order to apply for the Level One course of football management. This is the first step of the management training ladder.


How much do FIFA coaches make?


The ten highest-paid soccer coaches make an average of $11.3 million per year, though that awesome salary usually comes at the expense of little job security.


How do I get noticed?


Lead your team to success. The more success you have, the farther your name will spread.


What degree do I need to become a pro football (soccer) manager?


No degree is required to become a manager, though, a degree in sports management or sports science would be helpful.

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Though I am Nigerian, can I become a coach of a European league like Bundesliga and Premier League?


Of course, you can, if you have all the qualifications and a team has an opening.


Do you need a license to coach soccer?


Coaches will normally need to acquire a license to manage teams at the competitive youth club level. License requirements vary by state and by the league.


How old do I have to be in order to be a manager of a soccer team?


You must be at least 16 to apply for the coaching badges. Once you complete them all, you can become a manager.


I'm 15 years old and confident to become a professional soccer coach one day. What can I do to gain experience, and is there any way I can take coaching classes?


You can volunteer at a youth league. This will give you good practice and experience.


How much do coaches earn?


It depends on the level of the club you are managing and how well known you are as a good manager. The more popular the team, the more money you will get.

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Do European clubs hire managers from other countries?


Yes, as long as they have the certificates that qualify them to be a football manager. However, matters of citizenship and work visas will also pertain here.


How do I analyze soccer games?


Watch pre-game and post-game shows, such as Premier League Live, Premier League Goal Zone, and ESPN FC.


How do I get my coaching badges?


In short, FA coaching badges are the qualifications to become a qualified coach in the UK. The badges currently go from Level 1 to The FA UEFA Pro Licence. However, to become a coach at the elite level, just like most professions, you will need to gain the qualifications.


How much do UEFA coaching badges cost?


The standard cost of a UEFA “B” License — a prerequisite to work at a professional club's academy — is £990, and it can cost as much as £2,450.


How do I start online coaching courses for soccer?


The English FA offer some. I’m not certain if you have to register as a coach with them first though, although some of these are free. See the link here: Online CPD Courses

US soccer also offers some online courses. See the link here: Digital Coaching Center – U.S. Soccer

Lastly, I would suggest you sign up to the Soccerpath Newsletter. Soccerpath was created to help coaches to make the best use of the web to develop their coaching and usually has some helpful info to share. Follow this URL to access Soccerpath:

Now let me share with you some tips on how to become a successful soccer coach. These are tips you should take seriously as they form parts of the qualities of a good football coach.

Tips On How To Become A Football Coach

  • Read and watch games a lot so you can focus on what formations or tactics are clever and well thought out.
  • Be serious, becoming a football manager is a huge responsibility.
  • Being a former pro player is an excellent basis for your career in football management.
  • You may want to take an undergraduate/postgraduate degree in Sports Management which would be a great basis for a career in football management. Other college majors fitting would be sports science or football management.

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Let Me Wrap Up

What more can I say? That's it! That is mostly all about how to become a football coach in Nigeria – or anywhere else in the world. Do note that becoming a pro is hard work and patience is needed if you want to succeed.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

Oseg has been a writer since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of sports flow through in the expert coverage he provides in writing for GoalBall.