There are several different courses of action you can take in the United States to become a high school softball coach. You have several options, including going through a standard four-year degree program to receive a bachelor’s degree in a field like physical education, or undergoing a licensing program to be certified as a coach. Though both processes require vastly different steps, they allow you to pursue quite different employment opportunities afterward.
If you attend a college or university to become a softball coach, you should probably look into programs in subjects like physical education or human performance. Some schools will group them together into a single human performance and physical education (HPPE) program. These programs will allow you to gain a better understanding not only of coaching sports but will also allow you to teach physical education classes.
Some schools offer this sort of program as a Bachelor of Education, while other schools offer a Bachelor of Arts degree for a similar program. This will vary depending on the school and the type of program it offers. You will likely take some classes on a wide variety of subjects and learn how to teach a broad range of physical education classes from general athletics to weight training, and specific fields like racket sports.
If you do not wish to attend such a lengthy program or only wish to become a high school softball coach and not also be able to teach physical education classes, then you might consider just being certified by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). This form of certification will usually involve completion of courses on coaching fundamentals, sport-specific courses, and first aid training. Certification by the NFHS will help you prove your qualification and ensure you have the skills and knowledge that high schools are looking for.
In the U.S., you should also look into any specific requirements as far as certification and education are concerned for the specific state you wish to coach in. While some states may not have strict standards for anyone looking to become a high school softball coach, other states may require certain degrees or levels of education for employment by a high school. Much like most other aspects of high school employment, this is typically controlled at a state level and you would be well advised to look into it for the state you are in and not only look for requirements at a national level.