“Experts have long pointed to small-sided games as the right way for young players to develop their soccer skills,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, NSCAA Chief Executive Officer. “Recent changes in the youth soccer landscape has given the NSCAA the opportunity to take a fresh approach to how we design and deliver coaching education for newer coaches.”
The NSCAA Coaching Development Courses replace the NSCAA Levels 1-6 Diploma curriculum.
“We hear it again and again that coaching education at the grassroots novice and intermediate level needs to be accessible and honor a coach's time,” said NSCAA Director of Coaching Education Ian Barker, who along with NSCAA Education Content Coordinator Vince Ganzberg, previously an education consultant to U.S. Soccer, developed the new curriculum. “We wanted these to be information-packed and enjoyable, but also prepare a coach for any higher level diploma or licensing courses they may choose to take in the future.”
The new courses come in the wake of the U.S. Soccer Federation's new small-sided
guidelines* and rule changes.
NSCAA Foundations of Coaching Diploma
Online course: Introduction to coaching for the first-time coach or refresher for coaches coming back to youth coaching.
Three-hour, in-person: For coaches with players ages 8 and under. Includes age-appropriate training activities around a 4v4 game structure.
Nine-hour in-person: Focuses on 9- to 12-year-olds. Highlights player development, principles of play, technique, and tactics with small-sided games.
Twelve-hour, in person: Designed for intermediate coaches of players age 13 and older. Focuses on the 11v11 game with topics including the modern numbering system, formations and systems of play, player competencies and defensive and offensive tactics.
The courses can be taken in any order. Organizers may schedule multiple courses on a single weekend.