For many living in the UK, football is a way of life. It’s the sport you see kids playing in the park, it takes over every TV screen on the weekends, and it’s a constant talking point across the country. In the US, it’s a slightly different story. “Football” is a term reserved for the American version of the sport, and it’s only been in relatively recent years that soccer has really gained popularity in the country. With more and more American youngsters starting to kick a round ball around, soccer coaching in America is rising in popularity alongside the game itself.
For UK citizens, coaching soccer in America is a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge of the Beautiful Game, inspire youngsters, and explore the stunning scenery of the United States along the way. In this article, we’ll explain how you can pursue soccer coaching in the USA, via America’s most popular warm-weather pastime: summer camps!
Many summer camps across the United States focus on teaching kids how to play team sports, as well as the importance of teamwork and cooperation in a fun, nurturing environment. These camps are the perfect opportunity for UK-based soccer coaches to work as camp counselors and share their knowledge and love of football with youngsters across the pond.
At AmeriCamp, we’re dedicated to providing cross-cultural experiences and helping those in the UK secure opportunities working at summer camps in the US. From organizing your work visa to helping you find a camp that suits your interests, we’re with you every step of the way. Apply now to start your US summer camp adventure!
In this article, we’ll explain how to coach soccer in America by working at a US summer camp. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about coaching soccer in the USA, including:
- Is soccer popular in America?
- Are there soccer coaching camps in America?
- Why you should coach soccer in America
- The challenges of finding US soccer coaching jobs for UK citizens
- How to land a job coaching soccer in America
Join us as we show you how to swap your boots for cleats, step out onto the field, and transition from a football manager to a US soccer coach!
Is Soccer Popular in America?
Soccer is more popular than ever in the United States. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, fewer than 2% of Americans considered soccer their favorite sport. Earlier this year, that number jumped to 8%. While this may still seem low, it’s a dramatic increase, and puts soccer just behind baseball (11%) and basketball (12%). In terms of participation at the youth level, soccer is the third most popular team sport, sitting just behind football and basketball.
The Rise of Soccer in the USA
Several reasons are behind the increasing popularity of soccer in the United States. Firstly, the global domination shown by the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) plays a big role in inspiring youngsters in America to take up the world game. The USWNT has won the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups, and has stood on the podium in the last 4 out of 5 Olympic Games. The high-profile nature of the USWNT players has contributed to the increasing uptake of the sport at youth level, particularly among girls.
While the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) hasn’t quite enjoyed the same level of success as the USWNT, the team is increasing in popularity and slowly climbing the FIFA rankings. The men’s domestic league in the US, Major League Soccer (MLS) is also gaining popularity, with record crowds and viewerships in 2022. That growth is likely to continue, especially with the addition of high-profile international stars to the league like Lionel Messi, who joined MLS club Inter Miami earlier in 2023.
Soccer’s Increasing Popularity as an American Youth Sport
Another reason for the increasing number of American children taking up soccer is the sport’s perceived safety compared to American football. In recent years, parents and medical groups have become increasingly concerned about the injury risks associated with football, including the risks of head injuries and concussions. 51% of surveyed parents indicated they would be comfortable with their child playing football, while 86% were more comfortable with soccer as a safer option.
With more and more American children taking up soccer, soccer coaches in the USA for youth teams and USA summer camps are in higher demand than ever before. AmeriCamp can help you find these incredible opportunities and take care of the visa paperwork behind the scenes to enable you to pursue soccer coaching opportunities at American summer camps. Contact our team for more information!
Are There Soccer Coaching Camps in America?
Sports coaching camps in America have become an integral part of the country's sports landscape. Soccer is commonly taught at summer camps, catering to the growing interest and talent pool of young soccer enthusiasts across the United States. Summer camps usually combine technical training, tactical knowledge, and teamwork, all while fostering a sense of camaraderie, having a good time, and growing a love of the game. Aspiring players and ambitious coaches alike can find a wealth of opportunities to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons through these engaging and immersive programs.
What Does Soccer Coaching at a US Summer Camp Involve?
Soccer coaching at a US summer camp typically focuses on introducing kids to the game, teaching them new skills, and having a great time in the process. Most summer camp jobs involve a range of outdoor activities, so the focus isn’t on soccer the whole time. Instead, summer camps use activities like soccer to achieve other outcomes among camp participants, like:
- Fostering teamwork and collaboration
- Working on communication skills
- Building trust and positive relationships
- Developing a love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle
Often, camps will focus on playing short games, working on some drills in small groups, or learning specific soccer skills and techniques like passing, dribbling, shooting, and defending.
What Qualifications Are Needed?
The skills required to become a soccer coach in America at a summer camp vary depending on the camp. Typically, coaches are required to have a solid understanding of the game and its rules, as well as an understanding of different techniques and skills commonly used in soccer. Prior experience as a player is beneficial, even if just at recreational level, as it makes it easier to teach camp participants how to pass, dribble, and shoot the ball properly.
While previous experience as a soccer coach is helpful, it’s not always essential. In fact, having childcare experience can be just as valuable, as summer camp soccer coaching is as much about creating a fun environment for kids as it is about teaching them to play soccer.
Can Soccer Coaches Take Part in Other Summer Camp Activities?
Being a camp counselor and working at a US summer camp often requires an individual to wear many hats. While you may come into a summer camp as a soccer specialist, there are plenty of other activities that you can become involved in. Whether it’s setting up arts and crafts activities or helping to judge a camp talent show, there’s no shortage of fun activities and new experiences waiting for you at summer camp. Depending on the camp, you may be involved in:
- Teaching outdoor skills like survival and first-aid techniques
- Campfire cookouts and singalongs
- Water activities like kayaking, swimming, or rafting
- Other team activities like capture the flag or disc golf
As well as being involved in specific activities, camp counselors and other camp employees are also responsible for contributing to a fun, positive, and collaborative camp environment. You may be called upon to resolve conflicts or provide support to a homesick camper. Engaging in non-soccer activities helps coaches bond with the campers, and also showcases a well-rounded approach to coaching that goes beyond technical skills.
What Are the Benefits of Soccer Coaching in America?
Soccer coaching in America at summer camps presents a lot of opportunities and benefits for coaches and participants alike. Some of the biggest advantages of coaching soccer in the USA are:
- Honing your coaching skills overseas
- Shaping young future athletes
- Spreading the love of the game
- Exploring the US after your coaching camps
The best summer camps in the US shape young athletes, foster a love for the game, and provide you with an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes of the United States.
Hone Your Coaching Skills Overseas
For soccer enthusiasts and coaches from around the world, coaching at a summer camp in America can be a valuable experience. Interacting with a diverse group of participants from different backgrounds provides a rich learning environment. Coaching at the best summer camps in the USA allows you to exchange ideas, techniques, and coaching methodologies, and may even lead to you learning a few new things from young players who are used to a different style of play.
Shape Young Future Athletes
Soccer coaching in the USA gives you the unique opportunity to inspire and mold young athletes into more capable players. By fostering a positive and supportive learning environment, you can instill essential values such as:
These all extend far beyond the soccer field. Being a part of a young player's soccer journey and witnessing their growth and development can be immensely rewarding for coaches, leaving a lasting impact on both sides.
Spread the Love of the Game
Soccer, with its universal appeal, has the power to unite people from diverse backgrounds under the common love of the game. By teaching soccer in America and working at a US summer camp, you become an ambassador for the sport, igniting enthusiasm and passion among your campers. By nurturing a genuine love for soccer, you contribute to the sport's continuous growth and popularity in the country. Not only does this benefit young players at the camp, but it also extends to their communities and families when they return home, potentially inspiring more people to engage in the beautiful game.
Explore the US After Your Coaching Camp
Coaching at a summer camp in America allows coaches to combine their passion for soccer with the chance to explore the country's rich and diverse landscapes. When you join a summer camp program with AmeriCamp, you have the opportunity to travel across the US for up to 30 days after your camp wraps up. This gives you an incredible chance to dive into some of America’s bustling cities or breathtaking natural wonders and allows you to return home with both cherished soccer memories and a deeper appreciation for the diverse landscape of the United States.
The Challenges of Finding Soccer Coaching Jobs in the USA for UK Citizens
Traveling to the United States brings some logistical challenges, in terms of planning flights and accommodation. However, working at a summer camp in the US is substantially more complex. Without the help of an organization like AmeriCamp, you are left to:
- Find a job at a summer camp
- Show that you have the skills of a camp counselor
- Secure a visa that allows you to temporarily work in the United States
Let’s take a quick look at the visa requirements for UK-based soccer coaches in the USA and how AmeriCamp can help you overcome these obstacles.
The Visa Requirements for UK-Based Soccer Coaches in the USA
For UK citizens seeking soccer coaching jobs in the USA, obtaining the appropriate visa is a critical first step. The J-1 visa, also known as the Exchange Visitor Program, is designed for individuals participating in approved exchange programs in the United States. The J-1 visa category includes a specific subcategory known as the "Camp Counselor" program, which can be suitable for soccer coaches working at summer camps or other recreational programs.
It's important to note that the J-1 visa requires sponsorship from a designated J-1 visa sponsor organization. These organizations facilitate the application process, monitor the program's compliance, and provide support to the coaches throughout their stay in the USA. Securing a J-1 visa isn’t an easy process, and navigating the visa application process can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with legal complexities and requirements.
How AmeriCamp Can Help
AmeriCamp, as a J-1 visa sponsor organization, provides comprehensive support to UK citizens looking to work as soccer coaches in the USA under the J-1 Camp Counselor program. By partnering with AmeriCamp, coaches also gain access to a network of potential employers at US summer camps and organizations actively seeking skilled and enthusiastic soccer coaches.
AmeriCamp guides you through the J-1 visa application process, ensuring you meet the program's requirements and assisting with necessary paperwork and documentation. Our support extends to cultural orientation, travel arrangements, teaching you how to be a good camp counselor, and ongoing assistance throughout the program duration. This way, you can relax and focus on having the summer of a lifetime.
If you’re ready to join us, start your AmeriCamp application here!
How to Land a Job Coaching Soccer in America
UK soccer coaching in America is an exciting opportunity for passionate coaches to share their expertise, experience a new culture, and make a lasting impact on young athletes. For UK citizens seeking this adventure, here’s an idea of the steps you need to take to join soccer coaching summer camps in the USA:
- Connect with AmeriCamp
- Update your resume and prepare for soccer camp interviews
- Identify camps you’re interested in
- Finalize your AmeriCamp application
- Meet with camp leaders for interviews
- Pack your boots and prepare for your big adventure!
Connect With AmeriCamp
AmeriCamp can be your gateway to coaching soccer in the USA. Begin by reaching out to AmeriCamp and expressing your interest in participating in our J-1 Camp Counselor program. Our team can set up an interview to discuss your skills, interests, and qualifications, and provide you with more information about the program and the next steps.
Update Your Resume and Prepare for Soccer Camp Interviews
Before applying for coaching positions, make sure your camp counselor resume highlights your coaching experience, qualifications, and any relevant certifications. Tailor your resume to showcase your:
- Soccer coaching achievements
- Work with specific age groups
- Team accomplishments
- Specialized skills, courses, or training you've undertaken
As well as updating your camp counselor resume, prepare for soccer camp interviews by researching typical camp counselor job descriptions and interview questions. Formulate responses that reflect your coaching philosophy, leadership skills, and ability to create a positive and motivating environment for young players.
Identify Camps You’re Interested In
Research and identify summer camps or organizations that align with your coaching goals and preferences. Consider the age group you wish to work with, the camp's location, and the facilities it offers. This will help you focus your efforts on finding the most suitable coaching opportunities. At AmeriCamp, we can also use our vast network to match you with camps that are best suited to your skills and interests.
Finalize Your AmeriCamp Application
Once you've chosen the camps you're interested in, work with AmeriCamp to finalize your application for the J-1 Camp Counselor program. Our team can help make sure all your required documents and certifications are in order, and submit your application according to the US government guidelines and deadlines.
Meet With Camp Leaders for Interviews
After your AmeriCamp application is approved, it will be distributed to camps across our network. As different camps review your application, you may be invited for interviews with potential camp employers. Approach your camp counselor interviews with enthusiasm, professionalism, and a genuine passion for coaching soccer and working with children.
Be prepared to discuss your love of soccer, your experience in working with children, and why life at a US summer camp appeals to you so much. Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself! You might like to learn more about what the camp would expect of you, the type of camp counselor training you will undertake, and anything else you’re unsure about.
Pack Your Boots and Prepare for Your Big Adventure!
Once you receive a job offer for summer soccer coaching in America, it's time to pack your gear and brace yourself for the adventure ahead! As you embark on this journey, keep an open mind, be ready for new experiences, and prepare to make a positive impact on the lives of young American athletes.
Find a US Soccer Coaching Summer Camp With AmeriCamp
If you're a passionate soccer coach from the UK dreaming of coaching in the heart of American soccer, look no further than AmeriCamp! As a leading cultural exchange program organization with a 99% placement success rate, AmeriCamp opens the door to a world of exciting coaching opportunities in the USA.
With AmeriCamp's J-1 Camp Counselor program, you can embark on a life-changing adventure, coaching soccer at renowned US summer camps. Through this program, you'll not only shape young athletes' lives but also immerse yourself in American culture, forge lifelong friendships, and create unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to step into the world of American soccer! Start your AmeriCamp application today.