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Everything you need to know about becoming a football coach

Football is the national sport – almost a tribal belonging – and the dream of almost every child at some point in their life is to become a footballer for their team. Few of us realise this dream, but the next best thing must be to be able to develop the skills of those who do go on to play. Coaching, at all levels, is a very real and valuable way to contribute to the sport.

What is involved in coaching?

Coaches work at all levels, from very young children through to adults. Some work alone, while others work as part of a team at a bigger club. As a coach, you will plan and run the coaching sessions and advise on all aspects of the game, from tactics through to nutrition and mental strength and discipline.

Increasingly, and depending on the level at which you are coaching, there might be contact with the media.

In return, you can expect a starting salary of between £14,000 and £21,000, rising to £250,000 for those in Football League or Premier League positions. As a community role, you might not attract a salary at all, or it might be an hourly rate; however, this gives you experience to pursue a full-time position.

You will need to be a great communicator and sensitive enough to give constructive feedback to different people. You will need to be flexible and organised, as you will also be responsible for things such as football team kits, including ordering them from online retailers such as and making sure the squad turns up in the right kit and that it is clean.

What next?

For more information about how to start your new career and train as a football coach, check out the advice on the Football Association website.You will find details about the coaching qualifications and where you can study. These qualifications can be completed as part of a wider sports degree.

Coaching is not a 9-5 job, so flexibility is key. There will be training during weekday evenings, with matches and more training at weekends. The level at which you coach will determine how far you need to travel and how regularly, with a driving licence likely to be a requirement. Within reason, training and matches take place whatever the weather.