I joined this forum some years ago and my first post was requesting for information about how to go about attaining coaching badges / license to become a qualified football coach.
I had spent years searching for information but it was really scarce to find on the internet. But then there were some FAs like the English FA and Scottish FA that provided some overviews.
Anyways, I was finally able to get the information after so many years and this July I also attended the UEFA C course in Scotland and I finally have a UEFA C certificate
So now to the important stuff. Note that the information I am providing pertains purely to the Scottish FA only and other FA's might have different routes / approaches / requirements / qualifications.
There are the following levels to become a professional football coach / manager. You can not skip any of the levels, and have to progress through each:
1. UEFA C certificate (Adult Club Coach Certificate) - 50 pounds
This is just a certificate that you get for showing up. The course runs for two days. The content of the course gives you an overview of some coaching aspects like passing and controlling, defending, shooting and finishing and pressure.
This course is run regionally throughout the year. You can check the dates of the course by going to the Scottish FA website. (http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fo ... m?page=778
The course equips you with an introduction to coaching. You get a handbook and DVD that provide some useful training references.
Just a warning, you are not yet a Mourinho or Rafa after this course. This is not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg, there is sooooo much more to learn.
Now that you have the foundation, it is advised that you coach a local youth team, something like U10s or U13s and get some coaching knowledge. This is very important to progress because you need to demonstrate the ability to coach children when you are applying for your UEFA B license.
2. UEFA B license
As mentioned earlier, it is good to have some working coaching knowledge before you apply for this course. The course is held only twice a year, once in June and once in October/November (which can be attended only by current / former football professionals). I am not an ex pro footballer, and I will have to attend the course that is conducted in June.
The course runs for two weeks if I remember correctly, and will be conducted at Largs.
This part is actually broken down into three parts:
2.a) Introductory (975 pounds)
This it the part where you attend the course for two weeks and they basically assess you whether you can actually apply for the UEFA B license or not. If they tell you to go ahead with the application, you do so, otherwise you try next year.
2.b) Two day tutorials (no idea on the fees, must be minimal though)
If your application is accepted (they enroll very limited number of students for the UEFA B license) you have (it is compulsory) to attend two tutorials (one in November and the second in May if I remember correctly, more info in the brochures on Scottish FA site). Note that you have to attend these conferences prior to your assessment.
2.c) Assessment (350 pounds)
The assessment is held in June, and lasts for a period of 4 days. You have to demonstrate coaching certain skills/themes and are also expected to structure a training and coaching module to specifically coach a certain skill/theme.
If you receive a positive assessment, you are awarded the UEFA B license. You can then rejoice because that is the entry level requirement for many professional coach openings.
If you receive a negative assessment, you have to start step 2 all over again.
3. UEFA A license
This is also structured the same way as the UEFA B and has the same 3 levels. The introductory course again lasts for two weeks and the assessment for 6 days. The topics assessed though differ a lot compared to those during the B license.
The fees for the introductory course is 975 pounds and the assessment will cost 650 pounds.
UEFA A license is the minimum requirement for coaching top premiere league clubs.
4. UEFA Pro license
This is needed if you want to coach national teams. Rumors are that it might be the minimum requirement for top leagues like the premiere league in the future. Not much information is available about the course content, structure or timings. All I know is that it is VERY VERY EXPENSIVE, estimates are around 3,000 pounds (!!!)
For UEFA B and A, do note that there is a gap of one year between the introductory course and the assessment.
The total financial commitment is around 6,000 pounds (UK). The time commitment though is a lot more. Even if you go through each level at the first attempt, it would take nearly 4-5 years to go from UEFA C certificate to UEFA A license.
Plus, after getting the UEFA A license, you have to attend refresher courses every 5 years or so.
Please remember that the Scottish FA does not run the UEFA C certificate regularly since they do not get enough applicants. I already had to face the despair of two cancelled courses during the last two years. Even the course that I was able to attend this year was run because at the last moment the course coordinator was able to arrange for some guys to attend the course.
Also note that there will be a time, especially until you get your UEFA A license, where you might have to work for free, zero compensation.
So that is all about the information. Now to some other stuff, like why did I choose the Scottish FA?
* Compared to the English FA, it is less time demanding. I am living in Kuwait, and travelling frequently to UK will set me back financially. The Scottish FA does not demand that much time. I am comfortable with 2-3 trips at the max in a year.
* Mourinho came to Largs for his UEFA B
* Shankly was Scottish, period
On a side note, just because you get the UEFA A license does not mean you are the football guru, even the UEFA Pro license would not help you do that. The courses just provide you with structure and reference, but may not necessarily force you to think like Rinus Michels. They do not teach you to be an effective / good coach. They give you knowledge, but may not make you a football encyclopedia like Rafa.
The ability to think football, link and relate the training methods to specific players requires a lot of art. Just take Sacchi for example, he evolved a system in his mind on how a team should play and then developed modules to train players to adapt and play according to the system.
As a coach, you also have to understand about the mentality of the player along with his technical skills and fitness requirement. You should also know how to develop them. You should know how to benchmark and improve your play, analyse your results, analyse the team improvements, and a whole lot more.
It is very important to develop players with the right mentality. Without it, the team will crumble and the system will not be adhered to. You also need to develop the players to have the same 'wavelength' mentality. It sounds so complicated, but if you think about it, it is pretty simple. As Shanks said, we just play simple football
I just hope that the above information helps others who are, like me, in a quest for football knowledge and qualifications.