How To Become High School Football Coach

To become a high school football coach, you first need to be an adult. If you are not 18 years old or older, you cannot be a coach for a high school football team.

Next, you need to have some sort of experience coaching football at the high school level. This could include having coached at the junior high level or being a volunteer coach for an elementary school team. If you do not have any experience coaching at this level and are under 30 years old, it is unlikely that you will be able to land a job as a head coach at a large school district.

The last step is applying for positions with administrators in your local area who run school districts. You can find these people by looking up contact information on websites related to education and sports in your region (such as [website name]). Once you get in touch with them, they may ask you questions about your background before offering you an interview slot so make sure that everything is up-to-date!

How To Become High School Football Coach

Having a career as a high school football coach is rewarding. You have an opportunity to create an impact in the lives of young adults and people around you. Becoming a high school football coach requires dedication, resilience and hard work. In this article, we discuss what a high school football coach is, what they do, how to become one, skills and salary and job outlook.

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What is a high school football coach?

A high school football coach trains both amateurs and talented athletes by sharpening their skills. Their main goals are to improve the technique and stamina of the athlete and prepare them for games. High school coaches are essential when it comes to maintaining sports programs in high schools.

What does a high school football coach do?

A high school football coach designs a training program that helps a team of students develop the physical strength and technical skills needed to succeed in the sport. They develop strategies that help the team win games and instill morale and motivation in the students. Other responsibilities include:

  • Doing research and analyzing previous games to develop game plans
  • Determining the strengths, abilities and weaknesses of the students
  • Making sure a football field is available for practicing sessions
  • Making sure students know the rules and regulations
  • Performing first aid
  • Connecting players with college recruiters
  • Leading training sessions
  • Coordinating and organizing football teams

How to become a high school football coach

Education plays a huge role in having a successful career as a high school football coach, along with other factors. Here are steps to follow:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree

It isn’t mandatory to have a bachelor’s degree to become a high school football coach, but having a degree can help advance your career and help you stand out against other applicants. It doesn’t matter if you majored in a non-related sports degree. Bachelor’s degrees related to sports like Bachelor of Sports Science (BSS) and Bachelor of Science degrees can provide coursework like coaching dynamics that increase your knowledge and provide opportunities for getting advanced football coaching positions. Other courses you may learn are:

  • Sports psychology: This is the study of how psychological factors affect athletic performance and physical activity.
  • Sports nutrition: This is the study of food concerning sports.
  • Sports marketing: You learn how to promote services and goods through sporting events.
  • Athletic injuries: You learn about various types of injuries athletes are susceptible to and how to handle them.

Related: Nine Benefits of Going to College 

2. Develop your skills

The most important asset of a high school football coach is knowledge. The knowledge may come from different sources, such as playing football or studying the game. Other ways you can learn:

  • Studying media from coaches: You can read the books and watch interviews to learn how to coach your team—and learn what actions they took to get where they are. You can also watch documentaries on ESPN that offer deep insights into coaching.
  • Watch games: If you aim for a head coach position, you need to know about game tactics and strategies to learn exactly how the game operates.
  • Attend football games: You can attend football games in your city and observe how coaches interact with their players and network with other coaches.

3. Acquire medical knowledge

Having medical knowledge is very important because athletes are susceptible to getting high-risk injuries like concussions on the field. As a football coach, you are one of the quickest responders. Attend CPR classes and gain certification. CPR involves giving the victim chest compressions that provide blood circulation to the heart until it starts beating again.

4. Gain experience

You need to gain experience to demonstrate your knowledge and put your skills into action—this helps you recognize your strengths and work on your weaknesses. The best schools prefer to work with an experienced high school coach rather than a beginner. Be open to taking unpaid positions. Here are common ways you can gain experience:

  • Volunteering: You can offer to work as an assistant to a high school football coach without expecting anything in return. Volunteering proves that you are genuinely interested in coaching and are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. As an assistant, you may help with practices or equipment, work with special teams and maintain stat sheets when game seasons begin.
  • Teaching: You can apply to schools and start teaching coaching at an elementary level. With the combination of a college degree and a teaching credential, you can get a full-time job as a head coach.

Read more: Work Experience and Your Career: Definition, Importance and Tips 

5. Networking

Networking is an important factor that contributes to getting employment in every job—knowing people who can provide you with referrals or introduce you to influential people who can speak on your behalf can increase your chances of getting hired. Start by building relationships with people who can get you hired like administrators, weight room managers, coaches from other sports categories and athletic directors.

Read more: 10 Tips To Help You Network Like a Pro

6. Earn a certificate

You can earn a certification through the National High School Coaches Association. Getting this certification offers you credibility and helps you stand out from other applicants. The NFHS provides leadership and support to coaches by assisting them in building their programs. You can choose to have a certification in a specific sport like football or have a general certification.

7. Pick your assistant wisely

If you aim for a head coach position, it is important for you to work with people who make your work easier. It is common for high school coaches to work with unsuitable assistants. But make an effort to choose an assistant who meets the job requirements to prevent working in a disorganized work environment.

Skills for a high school football coach

To have a successful career in football coaching, you need to have skills that help achieve your goals. These skills are:

  • Leadership skills: As a high school coach, you are responsible for establishing authority amongst your team, setting standards and motivating your students.
  • Communication skills: As a high school coach, you need to establish excellent communication between you and your students. You must know how to express your criticism and support respectfully. This creates a healthy relationship and gives your students the confidence to offer their opinions.
  • Patient: High school coaches work with students who possess different techniques, skills and strengths to play football. You must have the ability to practice patience and guide your students to bring out their best.
  • Active listening: Your students have contributions that can give your ideas to develop your game strategies. You need to have the capacity to listen to what each of your students has to say without being dismissive.
  • Time management: As a high school coach, you need to know how to manage your time. You need to create a balance of spending enough time with your team and dedicating enough time to your family.
  • Passionate: You need to have the passion that provides you with the motivation to work harder and overcome challenges.
  • Perseverance: Your team can sometimes not perform to your expectations. A great coach continues to motivate their team and has the courage to go through the obstacles with the team.
  • Observant: As a high school coach, you need to pay attention to detail and notice the areas that need improvements, know which students need more of your attention and strategies you can implement to elevate your team performance.

Salary and job outlook

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment for high school coaches will grow by 12 percent from 2019 to 2029 because of the increase in participation in high school and college sports. A high school football coach’s average salary is $36,085 per year ($16.55 per hour).

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