How to Become a Professional Football Coach
10 May 2022   ·   

A football team needs to have good coordination and structure to be competitive. Being a football coach means understanding your players and being capable of providing them with the tools needed to reach their best performance, either individually or as part of the team.

One of the first steps to become a football coach is to get the credentials that enable you to work. One option is to opt for any of the available UEFA coaching licences. 

The UEFA coaching licences offer quality standard and specialised qualifications to help future coaches develop their aptitudes and learn what is needed to excel in their jobs. 

In Europe, more than 200,000 people have got their valid UEFA coaching licence so far. These licences are issued by the member federations which might comply with the quality standards imposed by this institution. 

Licences are valid for three years and their standards are regularly updated to cope with the sports development.

Requirements to Become a Football Coach

People who want to get the certifications issued by UEFA must meet the following requirements:

  • Being able to express themselves properly in the official language of the course.
  • Passing the competency assessment to check that the eligibility criteria are met.
  • Delivering the required documentation.
  • Having no criminal records for offences which are compatible with the coach’s profession.

UEFA Convention has also defined other criteria and minimum requirements in relation to the experience needed to apply for advanced level courses. Member federations can adjust the difficulties of these courses to the conditions of their football environment.

Studies Needed to Become a Professional Football Coach

UEFA offers different diplomas that should be obtained after performing the necessary training and before working as a coach:

  • C Diploma:  This initial course focuses on training coaches to provide a proper experience aimed at fostering the players’ knowledge and skills in a fun context. This is an introductory training course that lays the foundations for the development of the coach’s skills.

Duration: 60 hours.

  • B Diploma:  To qualify for this course, coaches must have a valid UEFA C licence and have completed a minimum of six-month experience as a coach before starting the B Diploma course. 

Students will learn what is necessary to improve the individual and team performance. They will be able to analyse the work of each player, and provide an assessment and an improvement plan of their performance.

Coaches will be able to apply these techniques in the different age and skills categories, from youth to amateur senior.

Duration: 120 hours.

  • A Diploma:  To apply for the A Diploma course, coaches must have a valid UEFA B Licence and have completed at least a year of experience after graduating from the UEFA B Licence as a 11-football coach.

This course covers up to the highest amateur level. It focuses on developing an understanding of all the external factors that might influence the game. It offers a more technical view to develop a high level of understanding of players and teams levels as well as to show the responsibility involved in managing a club. 

Pressing, intensity and studying the opponent become important. Coaches will learn to design training sessions to create strategies and motivate their players.

Duration: 180 hours.

  • Pro Diploma:  To get this diploma, coaches must have a valid UEFA A licence and have completed at least one year experience as a coach after the UEFA A licence acquisition as first coach in elite youth or amateur senior football or as an assistant coach in professional football. 

This course gives students the opportunity to play the role of a coach at a professional level. It also provides a whole understanding of the players and teams which will allow coaches to develop a winning philosophy and technique to foster a high-performance culture.

Duration: 360 hours.

Aim of UEFA Coaching Convention

The courses quality standards and the acquisition of diplomas are established at the UEFA Coaching Convention in which the availability of all levels of well-trained coaches is ensured to guarantee the highest European football level. It guarantees the availability and quality of professional training.

The issuance of standardised diplomas establishes a general framework to assess their skills and increases the number of coaches with recognised qualifications. 

The Coaching Convention keeps football coaching as a praised profession and sets the needed regulations. It also favours the free movement of qualified coaches throughout Europe. 

These diplomas and qualifications represent the necessary requirements to be able to work as a professional coach. However, to be successful, other aptitudes and skills must be developed by means of supplementary courses for the training of coaches.


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