Home » Facts » Soccer Equipment » How Do I Get Coaching Badges?

How Do I Get Coaching Badges?

It’s easier than ever to make a career for yourself in Soccer/Football. Thanks to the menagerie of backroom staff roles that clubs employ, and the rise of successful managers who lacked a playing career at a professional level.

There is no reason not to pursue a career in the beautiful game.

As long as you have a burning passion for the sport, and put the hard work in, the sky really is the limit, as proven by the likes of Arsene Wenger, Gerard Houlier, Arrigo Sacchi and the recent addition to the list in Will Still.

So the only question is, “Where do I start?”.

With anything like this, getting the ball rolling is the hardest part, and making the first steps into coaching can seem incredibly daunting, but luckily you needn’t worry.

By reading this short article, I’ll be guiding you step-by-step through the process of what to do to earn your coaching license in both America and the UK.

How Do I Become A Coach In America?

It’s now easier than ever to get started, with the first step simply being to sign up and do a 20-minute online course that comes for free. This grants you your online license. 

From there you’ll have the ability to apply for multiple cost-efficient courses through the grassroots pathway, designed for the many Soccer coaches without professional playing experience.

This grassroots course features 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 courses, featuring a combination of online and in-person coaching.

Each course is 2 hours, and $25 however in order to qualify for the next step, two grassroots courses must have been completed in person.

D license ($300-$550)

Now we get to the education that is much more of a commitment, both monetarily and in terms of how much time you need to put in.

If you have completed your two or more in-person grassroots courses of choice, you’ll be eligible for four in-person courses over the course of nine weeks, alongside online lessons and courses.

You’ll go through mentoring and coaching from experienced educators, and gain some experience in hands-on coaching at youth level, with age groups under 12.

C License ($1500 – $2000)

While the price hikes up, so do the opportunities afforded you. There are some more demanding requirements, but nothing anyone passionate enough to seriously want a career in soccer won’t be able to gain regardless of background.

After getting your D license, you’ll need 6 months of experience in coaching, so non-academy youth sides are a great way to get such experience. Alongside this, you’ll need to have held your D license for 6 months and be over 18.

The C license builds upon your experiences before, consisting of weekly learning opportunities encouraging independent learning, much like a university course.

It’s here you’ll learn the “core concepts of coaching” and will gain experience by coaching U-13 to U-17 sides.

The C license is a much bigger time commitment, and you’ll likely have to travel – but it will give you vital education as well as opportunity and experience that will help you develop your own coaching style and philosophies.

B License ($1500 – $3000)

To qualify for the B license you must first: hold your C license for at least a year, have 3 years experience in coaching and must be coaching currently. You will also require a signed letter from your club leadership, denoting your position, your role and your responsibilities. 

It doesn’t end there though, each course requires an application to even be considered for the role. Team and individual player development are stressed throughout the course and take place in what would be considered a more “performance” environment.

In-person and virtual meetings are commonplace, and independent learning and development are expected.

You will be expected to commit at least three hours a week to your own learning, matched with many one-to-one meetings and assignments to ensure you are on the correct track.

The B license is the true test of commitment before stepping into the professional setting of the A license, hence the steep increase of $1000 to obtain it.

A License – Youth and Senior ($2000 – $3500 Youth, $3500 Senior)

The A license is split between youth and senior, and for good reason. With the youth license, you’ll be focusing on developing future professional soccer players, and at senior you will be working with players at college or above in a high-performance setting. 

Both courses last 10 months, and require three in-person meetings, an average of two virtual meetings a week, one-to-one meetings with your coach, workshopping with coach educators and a final assessment meeting at the close of your 10 months.

Each requires at least one year of coaching at the B license level, four years of experience and a current coaching role.

The differences between youth and senior arise when deciding your path – for youth you must have access to a team in a U13 – U19 environment, whereas for senior you apply through the US Soccer coaching portal.

Pro License ($10,000)

A recent addition, the Pro license is available to those who are actively coaching in the top 3 divisions of soccer in the US and is now a requirement for MLS coaches.

You must have held your A license for at least one year, be actively coaching for at least a year in a top-3 division league, and will take a year to complete.

The in-person meetings are extended to five days in length, the virtual meetings remain, and you will also experience two onsite visits by a USSF instructor. After two developmental periods, you host a final presentation and interview based on your course.

It’s no surprise that it comes with a hefty price tag of $10,000, as this is the upper echelon of coaching in the US.

If successful will hold the highest level license possible in the US, allowing you to coach almost anywhere (if you land the job)!

How Do I Become A Coach In The UK/Europe?

The Football Association runs courses for all aspiring coaches, with FA Introduction to Coaching Football being the starting point.

FA ICF is a flat £100 and acts as the true entry into UK coaching. It lasts 4 weeks and the minimum age is 16, meaning any school finisher can start their career path straight away.

The course takes 4 months to complete, and following you can begin your UEFA C license.

Most European countries have a similar scheme to get your first qualification before you can begin on your UEFA courses.

UEFA C £500

The UEFA C license requires you to actively coach a group playing in organised or competitive fixtures, to hold valid First Aid in Football & Safeguarding Children qualifications and completion of the ICF.

You will undertake 6 course days to develop your skills and knowledge as a coach, aiming to understand the players and their game. A coach developer will support you through the process and will offer one-to-one progress reviews and development.

The C license is £500 and will take 4 – 5 months to complete.

UEFA B £960 

The UEFA B license includes all previous requirements, alongside active coaching in a season-long competition. You must also be able to effectively communicate in English.

To achieve your B License, you must deliver successful practical delivery of the skills you have thus learned, alongside a coaching project tailored to your players. 

Player analysis is crucial, as understanding each member of your side and how the play is paramount to their development – and yours.

You will plan curriculums for your team, applying the principles of play to individuals and units to receive the best result – which you will be assessed on.

With a £960 price tag and a length of 9 – 12 months, the B license is where things begin to get serious.

UEFA A £3645 

The UEFA A license again includes all previous requirements. This time, aspiring coaches must have held their B license for 1 year.

As the highest practical coaching award available, the aim of the A licence is to build on the tactical and technical content covered in the previous licence after a year or more of experience.

Learning trends, strategies, tactics and systems of play are your prime focus. You will be improving your understanding of the modern game in an 11v11 setting to better the development of individual players, units and the whole side.

The A Licence costs £3645 and will take a minimum of 1 year. This is the true step into the higher divisions of football and would potentially see you coaching league sides and beyond.

UEFA Pro £9890

The UEFA Pro Licence is the peak of coaching in the UK. You must have graduated from the A licence course and require experience as a coach, manager, assistant manager, head of coaching, academy manager, head of recruitment or as a technical director.

9 modules over an 18-month period is what you’ll face. Face-to-face learning and independent study are evenly split, and you’ll participate in practical and theory-based workshops regularly. 

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a study trip to an international tournament, cementing the themes you learn throughout the module in reality. 

You will plan the long-term development of each player for maximum success and will have no problem performing in a high-pressure environment.

The UEFA Pro Licence is the highest level of coaching the UK has to offer, and the course is a mandatory requirement for all first-team managers who aim to work in the Premier League. At 18 months long and £9890, the commitment is a big one.

About The Author