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.
The U.S. Soccer Coaching Department was established in the early 1970s by famed West German teacher and coach, Dettmar Cramer. Each level of the U.S. Soccer Coaching License Pathway is designed to meet the needs of coaches ranging from the coach who is inexperienced in soccer to the former professional player who desires to coach in amateur, professional or international competitions. The U.S. Soccer coaching curriculum is designed to improve development of players in the organized player base in the United States, concentrating on creating more organized, age-appropriate training sessions, developing coaching practices and creating an environment that is fun for the players.
The pathway has evolved into a very efficient and logical system to grow coaching competencies through a series of candidate-instructor feedback opportunities. “Each of our courses are defined by a specific set of outcomes that we expect our coaches to master. We have a responsibility to certify coaches with our standards and philosophy. Our licenses must also be credible and comparable from the perspective of FIFA Federations on a global scale” said U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Dave Chesler. “These target outcomes are carefully balanced between knowledge of the principles of play, technical development, teaching skills and pedagogical principles. All of these components are necessary to be an effective coach.”
“The flow and structure of our pathway is closely aligned with some of the leading countries around the world. With the launch of our F license and our Youth Technical Director course, we are nearly complete with sequencing our pathway. We are in the process of launching a Pro course and additional supplemental courses aimed at goalkeeping and sport science.”
U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Development Department is making significant changes to improve the development of coaches at all levels. U.S. Soccer released a new online F license course coincided with the launch of a state-of-the-art Digital Coaching Center (DCC). The license course, aimed at coaches working with the six to eight year old players, is accessible to all coaches. The F license is a required pre-requisite to taking a U.S. Soccer E license.
As well as the new online course, an 18-month Academy Director course will begin later this year. The Director course is sequenced into multiple modules that focus on enhancing leadership skills, provide periodization and strategic planning tools and staff mentoring techniques. The course also includes an international academy case study trip and a technical analysis of a US Youth National Team camp. Additional details on the invitation-only course will be available later this year.
U.S. Soccer’s Digital Coaching Center, is a state-of-the art online educational platform. The DCC allows coaches to create a personal profile, register for courses, communicate with technical staff, take part in online courses, create session plans with an online graphics tool, access an archive of U.S. Soccer training sessions and much more. “The Digital Coaching Center is a comprehensive resource center for coaches at all license levels. It is one of the most extensive and significant investments the coaching development department has made,” said Chesler. “It truly is an exciting time for U.S. Soccer and for coaching development.”