How Can I Become A Football Coach?

By FirstDown PlayBook on Dec 1, 2021

A young guy hit me up on Facebook this morning and asked the question that I often get this time of the year. How can I become a football coach? I always try to slow down and take the time to offer a little advice if asked, because I was that young wannabe coach at one point.

I offered the answer that I often do. Please bear in mind that my perspective comes from the college and NFL professions. I still think it is relevant to a degree so here you go.

Find a reason, any reason to get in the football building doing anything. Take on the jobs that no one else wants to do. Don’t expect any pay for this either. Do that job so well that they give you more and more jobs. Continue doing those jobs so well that you make yourself indispensable.

All the while take every opportunity to learn football from the established coaches in that building. This will be after you complete your work assignments. In other words, get there very early to get that done so you can sit in on football meetings. You will know you are doing it right when they give you a key to the building, because you beat them there every morning.

Two things will happen next. First, if you continue to make your self indispensable, then guess what? You will be. The moment you have a chance to go to another program or team, they will have to recognize that. They will try to keep you around. How will they pay you? With more work of course. “Huh?” You ask. How is that pay?

The difference is that now the (additional) work may come in the form of doing a special project on punt return, or breaking down all of the 2021 pressures for the defensive coordinator. It might even be “take the defensive ends down there and work on hat reads for 20 minutes”.

Whatever it is, now you are starting to get paid. Money? It won’t come until years later, if you are a college coach. Sean McVay and Lincoln Riley are not the norm. I am sure they both work very hard, but if you think that is going to be your path, we would recommend finding another profession instead becoming a football coach.

Becoming a football coach is hard. It may be even harder now than when I did it. However, the opportunities are there, just like they were back in 1983 when I had the question of “How can I be a football coach?” Don’t let anyone tell you they are not. On the way out, here are my parting words of advice as well.

Find the most determined spouse on the planet who wants this dream for you maybe even more than you want it for yourself. Either that or do not get married. This journey will be as hard on them as it will be on you. Also look for loyal coaching friends and co-workers. Find 10 “friends” instead of 40 “acquaintances” in the coaching profession. If you are a good coach and you have real friends, you will have a big advantage. They will help you when they can and you will do the same for them.

So, as they say, there’s my ten cents of advice. Go get your self a dime cup of coffee. I sincerely wish you the best if you want to be a football coach. If you do it right it will bring you and the players you coach a ton of good memories. Good luck!

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help. All plays are designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown PlayBook is also the Official Playbook of NAIA Football and NAIA Women’s Flag Football.