How to Become a High School Soccer Coach

By Aaron Gifford

High school soccer coaching jobs become available periodically, but expect stiff competition from several applicants. You don't have to be a fantastic player, but you'd better be able to articulate how to perform certain skills if you can't demonstrate them. If you want to coach high school soccer, you need experience with helping young players become stronger and understand how tactics change a game. At the high school level, your role is to win games, foster an environment where players reach their potential and prepare the strongest players for college soccer.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with the game and coaching youngsters. If you haven't played before, watch practices and games of recreational and competitive soccer clubs. Even if you've played but haven't coached, observe how coaches run a practice. Schedule an informational interview with one of the more successful coaches in your area.

Step 2

Get experience coaching, starting with a younger age group and working your way up to intermediate levels or middle school kids. Recreational leagues rarely require coaching licenses or even experience from volunteer coaches who supervise elementary schoolchildren, although a background check may be required. You need five years of coaching at any level to be eligible for the certification required to coach a high school team.

Step 3

Obtain coaching certification with a local organization that is affiliated with a state or federal soccer organization. According to the U.S. Soccer Federation, the certification process starts with the "E" level for youth soccer, progressing upward to "B" for coaching high school players and "A" for college and elite amateurs. At least a year of experience is required at each level before coaches can take the required exam for moving up. The "E" certification requires an 18-hour course, and "D" requires a 36-hour course. The "B" certification requires 20 hours of classroom work and 48 hours in field sessions.

Step 4

Volunteer as an assistant coach with a local high school until a head coaching job becomes available in your area. During the course of the season, meet other coaches, athletic directors and key people in competitive scholastic soccer to establish a network for future opportunities.


About the Author

Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.

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