With soccer’s rise in popularity across the state, many people are looking for ways to be more involved with the sport. One natural way is to become a certified soccer coach, which can be as easy as coaching your kid’s soccer team and as difficult as coaching an Olympic team! While many more of us will have experience with the first option, I dug into the entire process so we can all learn a little about how to become a certified soccer coach.
First of all, I turned to USSoccer.com to learn a bit more about the nuts and bolts of the process. Luckily (for most of us), the only prerequisite for getting started in the soccer coach certification process is being over the age of 16. The first license in the Coaching License Pathway is called an F license. For an F license, you only have to be 16 to complete the training and earn your license. From there you move up the alphabet with each step requiring the previous license, more experience and, starting with the C license, you must be over 18. It’s all outlined in this helpful graphic:
(courtesy of https://www.ussoccer.com/)
Each step in this process comes with an appropriately rigorous training course, which differ in length and commitment. At the bottom of the chart you can become certified through an online training. Moving up, coaches will commit to longer periods of training incorporating intensive hands-on trainings, online lessons and homework culminating with in-depth assessments to grant the next step of licensure. Find more detail on specific courses, including registration requirements, here: https://dcc.ussoccer.com/
Becoming a Certified Soccer Coach: Totally Worth It!
I know what you’re thinking- this sounds like a lot of work! Luckily, most of us will not go on to be professional coaches. For those of you who would like to coach local youth teams, you’ll likely stick to the bottom half of the chart, where you’ll dedicate a couple of weekends at most. Even so – it’s definitely a commitment…which leads me to my next point- what are the benefits of becoming a certified soccer coach? I’m so glad you asked! First and foremost, certified coaches elevate the game’s quality, creating a better experience for everyone involved. In fact, the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education found that only 5% of youth who play for a certified coach quit the sport the next year, which compares to 26% of youth who play for an untrained coach. Quality coaching is key to the players’ enjoyment of the sport, and their overall development as an athlete. Furthermore, coaches are a vital authority figure in many children’s lives. Therefore, learning how to properly deal with difficult situations, aide them in their development on and off the field, and mitigate sticky parenting situations can only be beneficial to both the athletes and coaches themselves.
If You’re a Soccer Coach in Arizona, Join the Discussion in our “Coach’s Corner Forum”
To ensure the continuous progress of soccer in Arizona, the development of both our youth and the sport and the quality of the game, it’s important for soccer coaches to be certified at every level. For more information on soccer coaching certifications, please visit the following resources:
- Arizona Youth Soccer: http://www.azyouthsoccer.org/coaching/national__state_license_overview/
- US Soccer: https://www.ussoccer.com/coaching-education
- US Youth Soccer: http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/coaches/Education/
- National Soccer Coaches Association of America: http://www.nscaa.com
- Soccer Specific: https://soccerspecific.com/