Are you interested in soccer coaching licenses in the USA? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the process of obtaining soccer coaching licenses, from grassroots to the pro level.
We’ll walk you through the requirements and opportunities for coaching success in the United States. Discover how to advance your coaching career and make a positive impact on the next generation of athletes.
Exploring Soccer Coaching Licenses in the USA
If you’re aiming for higher levels, there are specific qualifications and requirements to meet. Your goals and commitment level as a coach are entirely up to you. Here’s a basic rundown of the coaching license pathway offered by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
1. Grassroots: Where It All Begins
This is where your coaching journey kicks off. Every coach begins with a free, 20-minute Introduction to Grassroots Coaching video.
After completing this, you can dive into in-person or online modules. To be eligible for the D license and advance your coaching career, you must complete two in-person or blended modules.
- Complete the Introduction to Grassroots Coaching video.
- Finish two in-person or blended modules.
2. D License: Nurturing Beginners and Intermediates
The D License is your ticket to coaching teams from U6-U19 in a participation-focused environment.
The players at this level are usually beginners to intermediates, often playing for enjoyment or even engaging in multiple sports. Coaches holding this license are expected to work with an active team and conduct 1-2 training sessions per week.
- Coaching an active team with 1-2 training sessions per week.
3. C License: Advancing with Commitment
After holding your D license for a full year, you can aim for your C license. This license is designed to prepare you to work with teams from U11-U19, with a higher level of commitment and skill.
Coaches are expected to lead 2-3 training sessions a week, working with more self-motivated athletes.
- Coaches must run 2-3 training sessions a week with more self-motivated athletes.
4. B License: Coaching Intermediates with Depth
Once you’ve held your C license for another year and have at least three years of coaching experience, you can apply for your B license.
This license equips you to lead U13 or higher-level teams in a competitive environment with intermediate to advanced skill sets.
Coaches with a B license are proficient in applying and evaluating player development and optimizing the learning environment for their teams.
- Running three training sessions per week.
- Performing video analysis throughout the process.
5. A Youth License: Nurturing the Future Stars
After having your previous license for at least a full year, you are eligible to aim for your A Youth license. This license is all about developing youth players (U13-U19) in a high-performance environment.
By this point, you should have at least four years of coaching experience and be involved with a competitive club or academy team, conducting at least four training sessions per week.
- Four years of coaching experience.
- At least four training sessions per week.
6. A Senior License: Coaching the Elite
The A Senior license is different from the A Youth license, primarily focused on coaching senior-level teams (ages 19+), with players aiming for the professional level.
Coaches are expected to run at least four training sessions a week and effectively use video and GPS technology to demonstrate their expertise.
- Four training sessions per week.
- Proficient use of video and GPS technology.
7. Pro License: The Pinnacle of Coaching
The Pro License is the highest level of coaching and prepares coaches for head coaching roles in senior teams, including national and international professional soccer.
To qualify, you must hold an A license for a full year and be a head or assistant coach at an MLS or NWSL club, a head coach for a USL or similar level club, or a head coach of a U17 or older national team.
- Hold an A license for a full year.
- Be a head or assistant coach at a professional club or national team.
Coaching youth soccer in the United States is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. While the level of competition may vary, there is no shortage of passionate young players eager to learn and improve.
Stay updated on any changes in the licensing process and local state-specific regulations, as requirements may evolve over time. Remember, being a great coach is not just about expertise; it’s about patience, positivity, and unwavering support for your players.