Coaching is widely described as one of the most rewarding professions out there. Not only do you get to remain a huge part of the beautiful game, but watching others improve until your tutelage is a joy to behold.
Coaches develop footballers in their physical game, their tactical awareness and their mental motivation, ensuring that they keep improving the skills they need to become winners. They plan sessions, work on how players could improve, develop tactics, dispense advice and ultimately help everyone develop both as individuals and as a team.
Salary & benefits
If you’re coaching in the community, these jobs are often part-time and just for a few hours a week, and are paid by the hour – usually around £8 per hour worked. Full-time community coaches, employed by local councils and grassroots football, can expect to earn between £13,000 and £24,000 a year depending on experience. Once you move into the professional game, however, this rockets, and coaches can earn anything from £25,000 a year to the multi-million deals that are involved in the Premier League.
Part-time work is almost always done in the evenings and weekends, as this is when clubs train and play matches. This means long days and giving up personal time to stand in all weathers and watch the team play, but the rewards of watching your charges take on all comers are many. Obviously at professional levels, where football is a day job primarily, the hours become more sociable, although the week does shift slightly to accommodate Saturday and Sunday games!
The way into coaching in the UK is by doing the Football Association (FA) coaching badges, which begin at Level 1 and then progress all the way to the most prestigious badge in the game – the UEFA A Licence, which shows your qualifications to coach at a professional level.
Training & progression
The FA badges are really the only way to move up through the game and to step up from a casual to a semi-professional or professional level, but there is scope for this. Plenty of coaches make their way at lower league level and then get brought up through the leagues until they are working at a very high standard indeed. At a higher level, however, you need to learn how to analyse player performance and matchplay, teach players how to deal with media coverage and design training methods which can excite and improve players of a much higher calibre – all which takes dedication, perseverance and a cool temperament. But if you’re determined, you love the game and you put your mind to it, you could be the next Roy Hodgson.