Alaska State Youth Soccer has recently made big strides to update their state association. First, all coaches will soon be required to be licensed. Also, to help with the mandatory licensing, three youth modules will be held at each club annually, for free. And, to further help the membership, if players pre-register for US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) tryouts in Alaska, there isn’t a charge.
Currently, 28 state associations require coaching licensing. Alaska’s Director of Coaching Frank Trovato said from a risk management perspective it is beneficial to have educated coaches. Secondly, educated coaches can establish true player development programs in that state and let the whole system function better. Players learn solid basics and stay on a good development track. Also, new coaches in the system learn and feel more comfortable walking into the system.
Recreational, competitive and US Youth Soccer ODP coaches will be required to be licensed. Competitive coaches at any age group are required to be licensed. Assistants require an “E” license and head coaches need a “D” license. US Youth Soccer ODP coaches are required to have a national “D” license. Recreational, however, coaches will have until 2008 to complete their licensing.
Alaska also voted and approved three youth modules to be held at every club annually for free. In connection, a recreation player party will be held the day after a module. Trovato said, “If you require coaching education at the recreational level, you have to give it to them for free.”
Another big move by Alaska this year has been to eliminate the charge if players pre-register for US Youth Soccer ODP tryouts. They found that they were loosing kids. If players didn’t make the team the first year, they wouldn’t pay $75 to try out again. Since making this change, there has been a 35 percent increase in the number of players and the quality of players has also increased.
Alaska’s US Youth Soccer ODP program has dramatically improved. In the past two years, Alaska has had 16 players in the regional camp pool and two in the national pool. For the 15 years prior, Alaska didn’t have 16 players total in the pools.
Alaska is also offering the US Youth Soccer ODP 1992 and 1993 age groups an extra trip to Italy to work with club teams there.
States that have a coaching license requirement in their bylaws or policies: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California South, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York West, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas-North, Texas-South, Utah and Wisconsin.