Soccer is one of the most prominent sports enjoyed by many people worldwide. In the United States, parents and children alike are very much inclined to the game that parents involve their kids to soccer games starting at the early age of five. If you love soccer and would like to work with children, a coaching career may be ideal for you. However, it is no easy job and requires genuine love for kids, patience, respect, tolerance, acceptance, etc. To pursue a career as a certified soccer coach, consider the following pointers.
- Start by getting information from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). This agency offers coaching courses and certification that are regulated by the state. Find the courses applicable to your specific requirements. Another certifying organization you can look into is the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). While there is actually no official certification required to become a coach, certification programs are designed to gauge your knowledge and abilities in order to coach effectively.
- Choose among the non-residential coaching courses. Non-residential programs available through NSCAA include High School Coaches Diploma, Youth Levels I through VI Diploma (separate course for each Diploma Level), Special Topics Courses and Director of Coaching Diploma. Levels have specialized curriculum and are based on the age range of players. If you wish to advance your career goals after having successfully completed non-residential diplomas and years of experience, you may consider residential programs designed for the more experienced coaches. Levels include national, advanced, and premier diplomas. The National Diploma is intended to enlighten coaches about the needs of the American soccer players, and provide progressive tactics of coaching the established needs. In partnership with the National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS), the program also offers wide-range online sports safety course covering minor to serious injuries. The Advanced National Diploma is intended for experienced coaches with advanced players. The course includes psychological aspects of coaching, advanced methodology, analysis, and so on. Candidates must at least have a minimum of 10 years of coaching experience. Premier Diploma must be a member of NSCAA and have obtained the Advanced National Diploma. Further information on requirements can all be found on the NSCAA website.
- Get online courses designed for coaches. NSCAA and the International Coaches Association (ICA) offer Internet-based education programs. If you cannot attend traditional classes, you may grab this easier opportunity to get your certificate. Special courses are also available such as sports safety and others.
- Work as an assistant coach. A valuable training experience would be working next to an experienced coach. You will have the perfect chance to apply all the things you have learned and expand your knowledge.
While many youth level and high school teams do not usually require certification, it is highly beneficial for coaches especially in terms of pay and advancement opportunities.