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US Soccer AGM

Will New Licensing Policy Discourage Coaches From Becoming Certified?

2015 US Soccer AGM LogoA recent policy change regarding coaching licenses for soccer in the US has caused quite a stir amongst the coaching community.

On February 14, U.S. Soccer held its Annual General Meeting and announced an updated pathway which must be followed to achieve coaching certifications of all levels. The U.S. Soccer Federation‘s updated policy more closely aligns US processes with international coaching licensure models.

The new license curriculum is formulated to create more organized, age-appropriate training session, develop better coaching practices, and create a fun and welcoming environment for the players. Courses are designed specific to inexperienced through professional coaches.

As an aid through this new certification process, U.S. Soccer just recently opened their Digital Coaching Center, a state-of-the art online educational platform, to allow coaches to participate in courses online. Through this platform coaches are able to create a profile, register for classes, communicate with technical staff, attend courses online, access archived training sessions, and more. The tool can be utilized by coaches at all license levels.

In an article released by NBC Sports, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati states that “it’s fundamental to the growth of the sport in our country that we examine and improve the different areas of development for our players and coaches. We are better situated than ever with the resources to do that.”

While all of these new changes sound great for upcoming coaches just entering the scene, what happens to coaches already halfway through their licensing process?

Now, members of organizations with alternative courses who were in pursuit of advanced licensure through U.S. Soccer are being required to begin at the foundation of U.S. Soccer’s coaching pathway and progress through each prerequisite level.

Groups like the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), who offer their own coaching certifications which could be used as waivers to advance to higher U.S. Soccer courses, are now not viewed as an acceptable form of advancement. The policy change eliminated the waiver that allowed NSCAA members to apply courses as prerequisites to U.S. Soccer’s licensure courses.

Although the goal of the policy reform is to increase the number of coaching certifications received, will forcing coaches to start from the beginning have a the opposite effect?

We want to know what you think! Leave a comment below and tell us what you think the future holds as a result of this updated licensing policy.

With this newly organized policy will the U.S. Soccer’s updated policy encourage more coaches to pursue certifications? Or will coaches already receiving class credit from other soccer organizations stop without licensure rather than starting from the beginning?


Kris Baker

Kris Baker is the President of Demosphere and has been serving the Youth Sports Community since 2006.