USSF COACHING LICENSES

National "A" License
This License is not run through the state office

The National "A" License course is designed to introduce concepts that are targeted toward coaching older players (older junior level and senior level players). The National "A" License focuses on recognizing the principles of the game and its technical applications in 11v11 game format and how these principles influence positional, group and team organization. The course also examines player, team and game management issues as they relate to the senior level player.

Key Elements of the National "A" License Course:
  • Candidates are encouraged to understand the "Four Pillars of the Game" (Technical, Tactical, Psychological & Physical) and to devise plans for and effectively improve those areas with their team
  • Candidates are encouraged to explore the variety of methodologies open to them and to solve coaching problems in the 11v11 game format. This varies in task from team management, game management, and practice management issues.
  • Much attention is given to breaking down the principles of play and the various systems by watching games played (video analysis) and playing in the games themselves.

Prerequisite: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have held the National "B" License for a minimum of 12 months, and meets the 3.2 rule requirement

National "B" License
This License is not run through the state office

The National "B" License Course is designed to introduce concepts that are targeting toward coaching players age 16 to college level. The National "B" License focuses on recognizing the principles of the game and its technical applications in 9v9 game situations. Candidates will learn to teach and implement these principles through functional training sessions leading up to the 9v9 game. The course will help candidates get a better understanding of the responsibilities of coaching at advanced levels and will prepare those coaches who wish to pursue the National "A" License.

Key Elements of the National "B" License course:
  • Help coaches to observe and identify tactical and technical breakdowns in game situations.
  • Learn to develop and implement appropriate training sessions to meet the demands of the game.
 
Prerequisite: Applicants must be at least 19 years of age and have held the National "C" License for 1 year.

National "C" License
Offered through the State office only
 
The National "C" License course is designed to introduce concepts that are targeted toward coaching players ages 11 – 16. The course focus is on getting coaches to think about, discuss, and recognize the recurring concepts or themes that exist in soccer. Candidates will be challenged to find ways to offer constructive guidance to players while also allowing players to experience the game for themselves.

A primary emphasis in the National "C" License course is the close relationship between technique and tactics. In this course, technique and tactics will be addressed together. In practice field sessions and the final field exam, the candidate is required to address the impact that technique has on tactics.

Three (3) General Goals of the National "C" License Course:
  • To prepare coaches to better recognize problems and solutions as they occur in the run of play and to communicate this information to their players,
  • To create rich soccer environments that allow players to grow, and
  • To provide a foundation for any coach wishing to pursue higher levels within U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Education Program.

The National "C" License course will also provide a foundation in the following areas: tactics, technique, methods of coaching and issues in youth player development, some of which have been introduced in the "D" License course, and will be expanded upon in the National "B" and National "A" License courses. These include but are not limited to the following objectives:
  • Observe and identify the technical and tactical demands of the game.
  • Focus on the application of technique and small group tactics in games up to 7v7 to big goals.
  • Organize, develop and implement appropriate training sessions to correct and reinforce the demands of the game.
  • Recognize soccer problems and offer appropriate technical and tactical guidance to the players.
  • Develop a better understanding of the responsibilities of coaching

Prerequisite: Hold National "D" License for 1 year

National "D" License
Offered through the State office only

The National "D" license is a 36 to 40-hour course designed for the experienced coach who has already earned a National "E" license. The focus of this course is to improve a coach’s ability to positively influence individual players and teams.

What are the key components of the "D" License course?
  • Develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach the 13-14 year old athlete and team.
  • Understand the characteristics and needs of an athlete in the Intermediate Stage of U.S. Soccer's Athlete Development Model.
  • Build on the foundation of knowledge and experience in order to proceed through the sequence of coaching development courses.
 
What are the specific target outcomes of the "D" License course?
  • Teach the Principles of Play in a training environment. (7v7 to 9v9).
  • Apply the Principles of Play to functional group roles in a full team system.
  • Plan a sequence of training and weekly cycles to complete a season plan.
 
There are two parts to the "D" License course - Instructional and Performance.  Candidates must complete both parts.

INSTRUCTIONAL:
 
  I.  Preparation Phase

Candidates are required to complete five (5) assigned training sessions
 
  II.  Instructional Phase (14 to 18 hrs.)

Candidates meet face-to-face with instructors at a course.

PERFORMANCE:
 
 III.  Deliberate Practice Phase

Candidates are required to complete five (5) assigned training sessions over a minimum of 10 weeks. It is expected that the sessions be evenly distributed through the 10 week period.
Candidates will be assigned the training sessions during the Instructional phase.
 
  IV.  Performance Review Phase (14 to 18 hrs.)

Final on-field exam.
Candidates have one full year following the completion of the deliberate practice phase to attend any performance review phase to complete the “D” course.

*Course schedules will vary due to specific facility availability – Each specific course schedule will be emailed to each candidate prior to the course.

 National "E" License
 Offered through the State office only

The National "E" License is an 18-hour course, which covers the elementary principles of coaching and prepares interested coaches for the 36-hour National "D" License course.

What will you learn in the National "E" License course?
  • Develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach the 9-12 year old athlete and team
  • Understand the characteristics and needs of an athlete in the Basic Stage of our Long Term Player Development model
  • Establish a foundation of knowledge and experience in order to proceed through the sequence of coaching development courses
 
What are the specific target outcomes of the course?
  • Understand and effectively apply the principles of Long Term Player Development
  • Demonstrate competency in planning an age-appropriate training session
  • Demonstrate the essential competencies to execute a team training session that is focused on a technical function of the game
  • Understand concepts and recognize the principles of attacking and defending in a small-sided game environment (3v3 to 9v9) adaptable to local competition structure

National Youth License
Offered through the State office only
 
The National Youth License is designed to provide club directors of coaching, youth coaches, physical education teachers and soccer administrators with the knowledge to successfully structure soccer environments for children aged 4-12. The lessons from developmental psychology are explored; and the art of teaching is explored. Candidates are videotaped for analysis during live training sessions.

You must read the following reading previous to the course:

Official US Youth Soccer Coaching Manual

Laws of the Game
Official Rules
Laws of the Game Exam