Wednesday, August 15, 2018


As a full service club providing soccer programs annually to over 1500 players of all ages and ability levels, Gulf Coast Soccer requires a club wide staff of about 160 coaches each season. The continued growth of the club and the recurring demand for recruiting and retaining new coaches each year is a key reason we employ a full-time Technical Director with experience teaching USSF and NSCAA coaching courses. Our hope is that having coaching development resources and mentors within the club will shorten the learning curve for coaches. This will ultimately improve the playing experience for our players and ensure they continue playing for years to come.

Our coaches are not left on their own without support! Rather, they are part of a large and diverse coaching staff that supports and learns from each other for the betterment of our players and the club. Because of our collective resources and this team environment, we believe we have a first-rate coaching development program that will continue to improve every season.

Coaching Development Pathway

Like players, coaches come to our club with varying levels of knowledge, experience and ambition to advance their skills to higher levels of play. Some start out as novice coaches, while others join us with some measure of playing or coaching experience. Some may only coach their kids for one or two recreational seasons, while others will continue to learn and progress with their children through the academy or select programs for years to come. Some even become life-long coaches well beyond their children’s playing days. Regardless of where you begin, our coaching development program is designed to help you learn, improve and have more fun coaching at Gulf Coast Soccer. Our coaching team is here to support you!

Getting Started 

Beginning-level recreational coaches start out by taking the USSF “F” License course. The "F" license is a 2-hour, self-paced, online course that shares US Soccer’s best practices for creating a fun, activity-centered and age-appropriate environment for 5-8 year old players. F-license candidates will also attend an on-field preseason coaching clinic at the Gulf Coast soccer complex. The date and time for these clinics will be posted on the club website under the Staff Menu

Coaches working with academy or older recreational teams should take the USSF National “E” License course. The "E" license is an 18-hour course, which covers the elementary principles of coaching. Coaches will develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach teams of athletes, ages 9 and older.

Coaches working with Select teams are required to hold the “E”, and are expected to take the USSF National “D” License. The "D" License course is a 36- to 40-hour course designed for the experienced coach who has already earned a National "E" license. The focus of this course is to improve a coach's ability to positively influence individual players and teams and to develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach the teams of athletes, ages 12 and older. The “D” License is also a prerequisite for enrolling in a National “C” License course. The dates and times for “E” and “D” License courses are listed on the STYSA Coaching Education webpage.

Below is a summary of recommended coaching licenses for Gulf Coast Soccer programs…

US Soccer Licenses

U.S. Soccer Federation is committed to providing soccer coaches, from beginner to most advanced, with up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge, so coaches across the United States can ensure that players develop to their full potential. The diagram below shows the current U.S. Soccer National License progression. For more details about available coaching licenses, please refer to the US Soccer Licenses webpage.

Coaching Benefits

  • Coaching children and helping them learn and improve is very rewarding.
  • Coaching is a fun way to “give back” to the game and to serve your local community.
  • Coaching teaches skills that are transferrable to the workplace in many ways.
  • Coaching is a great way for you to learn more about the game as your child matures and develops.

Resources Available

  • Full-time USSF/NSCAA coaching instructor and coaching mentor
  • 100% reimbursement for completed USSF or NSCAA coaching courses
  • Free SoccerROM online coaching tools and session planner
  • Written player development curriculum for each age group
  • Sample season plans and lesson plans for each age group or you can develop your own using SoccerROM
  • opportunities to participate in and learn from club wide coaching clinics, activity of the week demonstrations, and group/pool training
  • Opportunities to learn and assist in training sessions for higher-level teams with our professional staff

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. I don’t have time to coach. What if I cannot make all of the practices and games?Virtually all of our coaches have full-time employment. We don’t recommend any coach try to do it alone. Ideally, each team has a head coach and 1-2 assistants who work together as a staff to coach the team. We can help you form a coaching staff if needed. Utilizing the coaching resources we provide makes coaching easier than you might think!
  2. I never played soccer or coached anything before. Can I still coach?Obviously, it depends on the age and playing level of the players and how much time you can invest, but yes, anyone can learn to coach soccer. At the U4-U8 ages in particular, the beginning soccer expertise required is minimal. The skill you need most is that you like kids, are patient, enjoy playing games with them and having fun. As player’s age and progress in ability level, they will need more experienced coaches, but these younger recreational levels are a great place to begin coaching. You can learn and grow with your kids!
  3. How old do I need to be to coach soccer?You need to be 16 to be a head coach, but we do have many younger players in our club who assist family or friends with their teams. We love to see our players passing on what they have learned to the next generation.
  4. My work schedule is unpredictable at times and I don’t know what nights my child’s team will be practicing.See answer 1 above. We recommend all teams have a staff of 2-3 coaches to handle these contingencies.  In addition, team coaches have the opportunity to set the practice nights and times for their assigned teams, within certain guidelines that have been established by the club.
  5. Can I coach if I don't have a child who is playing on the team?  Of course!  In fact, we love having motivated coaches who work with teams strictly because they enjoy doing it.
  6. I want to coach.  What do I do next?  Simply sign up using our online registration link to coach each season.  All adult volunteers are required to complete a KidSafe background check, so you will be asked a few simple questions to initiate this process when you register.  We will contact all prospective coaches a few weeks before the first day of practice is scheduled to begin to place you with a squad and to provide more information regarding preseason meetings, schedules, and other details.

Robert Parr (Bio)

Technical Director
Gulf Coast Soccer
USSF A License
NSCAA National Premier Diploma
National Youth License

If you have any questions about coaching at Gulf Coast Soccer or the benefits, resources or qualifications described on this page, please feel free to contact Coach Parr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 409-728-4766.