Everything you need to know about the UEFA Pro Diploma, the highest coaching qualification in European football
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This page provides a detailed overview of the UEFA Pro Diploma, which provides participants with a clear understanding of player and team development and the role of a head coach at professional level. It will help coaches develop and apply technical policy and philosophy, creating a winning team and high-performance culture.
Specific details of the course will vary between nations, but the UEFA Coaching Convention guarantees a unified and minimum standard of coach education across UEFA's member associations.
UEFA Pro Diploma requirements
Course participants on the UEFA A diploma are required to have:
- A valid UEFA A licence
- Completed at least one year’s coaching experience, after graduating with the UEFA A licence, as a head coach at elite youth or senior amateur level, or as an assistant coach in professional football.
This course will provide participants with a clear understanding of player and team development and the role of a head coach at professional level. It will help coaches develop and apply technical policy and philosophy, creating a winning team and high-performance culture.
The UEFA Pro Diploma requires a total minimum 360 hours of education, plus study visits. A minimum 140 hours will be spent studying theory and practical units off the pitch, with a minimum 220 hours, including work experience, spent on the pitch. The UEFA Pro diploma course is spread out as a minimum over one complete season.
Four pillars of the UEFA Pro Diploma
A UEFA Pro licence holder will have a clear understanding of player and team development and coaching at professional level, and must demonstrate competence in the following four areas:
The professional coach
- Working as the head coach of a professional club’s first team or, in some cases, as a member of the coaching staff at professional level
- Working closely with and leading the coaching and multidisciplinary staff
- Being involved in developing and applying a club’s technical policy and philosophy
- Ensuring the right balance between the players’ professional and private lives
- Working with professional players from different cultural backgrounds, of different ages and experience, e.g. young talented players, experienced players, star players
- Dealing with all factors affecting the team’s performance: media, players’ agents, fans, scouts, sports ethics, etc
- Being accountable to the club’s management: club owner, club board, technical director, etc
- Contributing to the club’s overall policy
The player and team
- Planning, executing and supporting individual player development, including players’ own objectives, and complying with the club’s technical policy
- Giving direction and supporting players, enabling them to take responsibility for their individual development and involving them in the process (stimulating self-regulation)
- Working on the team’s development in cooperation with all support staff, i.e. technical, medical and performance staff
- Managing all aspects of the team’s performance
- Creating a winning team and a high-performance culture in a positive environment at professional level
The training environment
- Preparing and conducting individual and team training sessions at professional level
- Working with individual players and the team and understanding how the training session design can affect performance at professional level
- Designing game-oriented (team tactical) training sessions in terms of opponents, pressure and intensity
- Planning, delivering and reviewing training sessions in accordance with the club’s coaching philosophy
- Designing a seasonal team-tactical and physical plan in accordance with the competition schedule and the club’s objectives
- Embracing and adopting an interdisciplinary approach to physical and mental preparation and development, wherever possible in cooperation with other members of the multi-disciplinary team, e.g. performance analysts, fitness coaches, sports scientists, medical and other performance staff
- Preparing a team for and coaching them during matches at professional level
- Using the game to develop each player and the team, but also to create a winning team and a high-performance culture
- Preparing the match plan (with the staff) in accordance with the club’s playing philosophy, taking the opponent team into account
- Analysing matches (with the staff) as an evaluation and learning tool for individual players and the team as a whole.
How do I enrol for a UEFA Pro Diploma?
Contact your national football association for the latest course information, availability and eligibility.