Youth Soccer Coaching Jobs
Over the past decade the sport of soccer, or what the rest of the world calls football, has exploded in popularity in the United States.
Every weekend, families from the inner city as well as the suburbs, trek to soccer complexes spread throughout the country to watch their sons and daughters play a game that is widely considered the most popular sport in the world.
The nice thing about soccer is it requires little in the way of equipment, so the cost to parents isn’t very much and that allows them to spend money on hiring coaches to direct club, select, or premier teams. Also, see recreational sports jobs in another section of JobMonkey.
For kids, leagues, associations, and federations are set up at different skill levels to allow the better players to progress at a much faster pace, while also allowing kids and families who might not take things as seriously to also play against teams with the same skill level and mindset.
If you are thinking about becoming the head coach of a club, select or premier team, there are several things to consider.
The first thing to consider is which level you plan to coach.
Youth leagues are split up in the recreational leagues (lower skill levels/no one gets cut), select teams (mid-level skills/coaches pick their teams) and premier teams (parents pay a significant amount of money and it is the highest level of competition).
Next, coaching candidates must have a love of working with kids and the ability to work well with them, as well as the parents and families.
In addition to that trait, coaches must have at least a working knowledge of the game of soccer, including the rules, regulations and fundamentals that will help their team be successful as well as improving the abilities of the players.
These two things work hand in hand because the most successful coaches have the necessary knowledge of the game and how to teach it and are able to implement their system and communicate with their players and motivate them to learn new strategies and techniques that will help them be successful, not only at that time, but in the future as well.
Lastly, coaches need to have the patience and understanding necessary to not only work with the players, but also to handle the delicate relationship between the team and the families.
Parents and guardians pay a significant price per child to play for a club or team and many feel that allows them to have a say in how things are run, from practices to playing time in games.
Coaches must be able to work with the families, show empathy and understanding, but ultimately make it known that they are in charge of the direction of the team as well as who plays and when. To get started, most coaches start off as volunteers for at least two years before they are ready to work their way up the coaching ladder.
Volunteering with a good coach, a man or woman who has had success and is good at networking, will allow a coach to learn a system and how to direct a program and it will allow them to have good references when they go on to their first paid coaching position.
Coaching candidates are also encouraged to attend local coaching clinics, held by premier clubs, pro and semi-pro soccer teams, various business sponsors and even high schools in order to get an idea of different techniques and ways of teaching the game.
After the first two or three years, coaches are then encouraged to attend the various certification classes held in each state.
There are six levels of certification – A, B, C, D, E and F – and coaches must get at least an E or F certification in order to coach at the youth club level, although some require a D certification for certain leagues and associations.
In order to get certified at these levels, most states conduct workshops and classes and also field instruction where coaches must show their knowledge of the game and where they can also learn different techniques and drills they can teach their teams.
At the national level, coaches are expected to have a C, B or A certification and, when they have the A license, they must renew their certification every two years.
Most state coaches get paid to be with their team throughout the year and run camps and accompany the team through tournaments. That requires the coach to run practices at least two or three times a week, even in the offseason.
Most club teams spend about six to eight hours on the field practicing and another four to six playing during the season and coaches are expected to be with their teams for all of that. Coaches are also responsible for gathering equipment, finding places to practice and scouting their opponents when the need arises.
Club coaches usually spend an average of 20 to 25 hours per week during the “busy time” of the year as they work with their players and the families. During tournament season (usually in the spring and summer) coaches can spend that amount of time or more with their teams.
Coaches are expected to attend coaching seminars, camps that their players are in and evaluate talent at different events including combines – where players run through drills – and tournaments.
The salary range for a coach depends on experience and the size of the club or program they are part of, but most coaches start off volunteering.
Assistant coaches usually make a small amount compared to the head coaches as their real payoff is gaining the needed experience and knowledge so they can move on to be a head coach with another team.
Premier coaches with the larger club teams can make anywhere from $1,500 up to $2,000 per month while coaches on smaller premier teams can be paid anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per month (these are only estimates since each state and each club has a different salary structure).
Some select coaches are paid a minimal amount – roughly $200 to $400 per month – but some aren’t paid at all.
Rec teams tend to be coached by a parent or several different parents of players on the team.
No matter what, each coach must have a love for the game of soccer and a love for working with kids. As long as they have that, they will succeed in whatever level they coach at.
Quick Facts About Coaching Club Soccer
Job Title: Youth Soccer Coach
Office: Soccer fields across the country
Description: Coach an entire team or become an assistant coach
Certifications/Education: No educational background is required, but it is helpful to have at least a high school diploma or GED
Necessary Skills: Communication/People skills, Competitive nature, drive to be successful, knowledge of the game of soccer
Potential Employers: The thousands of youth soccer clubs or select and recreational leagues across the country
Pay: Range is anywhere from $2,000 per month at the highest level for the largest club all the way down to volunteer work. A lot depends on the size of the club and what level a coach is working at.
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