Coaching Course Menu

The NSCAA Coaching Course Menu is designed with flexibility in mind for coaches to choose their desired level of entry based on previous experience. Development courses all offer unique material and can be taken in any order. We recommend reading each course description to determine the best fit for you; make sure to pay attention to any potential prerequisites.

If there are no courses in your area, consider hosting a course at your facility.

Educated coaches help to deliver a positive playing experience for young athletes and a more enjoyable experience for themselves. The NSCAA Coaching Development Courses reflect the current soccer landscape with a focus on small-sided games and allows all types of soccer organizations to deliver useful coaching education from novice to intermediate in an accommodating way. The following courses ensure that coaches get the education they want and need alongside their peers in your own backyard.

Course Details

This three hour in-person course is designed for coaches with players ages 8 and under. The curriculum is packed with age-appropriate training activities around a 4v4 game structure.

Time Commitment: 3 hours
Testing: No
Prerequisites: None

Schedule for 4v4 Host a Course

Course Details

This combined course for the next level of coaching is a nine hour in-person course focused on the 9-12 year old player. Content highlights player development, principles of play, technique, and tactics with small-sided games.

Time Commitment: 9 hours
Testing: No
Prerequisites: None

Schedule for 7v7/9v9 Host a Course

Course Details

Moving up the continuum of age levels to the 13 and above player, this Diploma is designed for an intermediate coach. It is a 12 hour in-person course focused on the 11v11 game with topics including the modern numbering system, formations and systems of play, player competencies and defensive and offensive tactics.

Time Commitment: 12 hours
Testing: No
Prerequisites: None

Schedule for 11v11 Host a Course

Special Topics

The NSCAA Academy conducts Special Topics Courses periodically in different parts of the country, as well as special clinics at various events, including the annual NSCAA Convention. Some examples of Special Topics Courses include Zonal Defending, Sports Psychology, Striker Play, Management of Soccer Programs, etc. For further information, contact the NSCAA National Office. All candidates must be at least 16 years of age at the time of application. Candidates under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the course.

Schedule for Special Topics Host a Course

Course Details

This online course is the perfect introduction to coaching for the first-time coach or a good refresher for someone coming back to youth coaching.

Coming Fall 2016

Build your coaching education experiences to reach the highest levels of coaching with the NSCAA Advanced courses. When you complete these courses you will have earned a diploma that is respected industry-wide and enhances your coaching resume. These include the National, Advanced National, and Premier. In addition, the NSCAA has university partners who offer a Master Coach diploma and Master’s Degree in Soccer Coaching.

Course Details

The overall objective of the National Diploma is to acquaint the coach with the needs of soccer players and provide an organized and progressive methodology of coaching those needs. Basic technical and tactical knowledge is the central theme of the course in a 7v7 model. The course includes sessions on the teaching process, psychological skills training and Laws of the Game.

Time Commitment: 45 hours instruction, 6 hours evaluation
Testing: Yes
Prerequisites: None. NSCAA 11v11 Diploma or the USSF 'E' License are recommended.

Schedule for National Diploma

Course Details

The Advanced National Diploma emphasis is on training those players within a team concept designed to produce a successful environment. The 9v9 model is the main focus. The curriculum includes team organization and training, advanced methodology, analysis and understanding systems of play, a focus on tactics within thirds of the field, technical position overviews, match analysis and the psychological aspect of coaching.

Time Commitment: 45 hours instruction, 6 hours evaluation
Testing: Yes
Prerequisites: National Diploma, USSF 'D' or 'C', UEFA Level 2 Certificate or Canadian 'B' License

Schedule for Advanced National Diploma

Course Details

The Premier Diploma is the pinnacle of the Residential Academy offerings. The course content includes a thorough examination of different systems of play, including: technical and tactical implications; 11v11 topics, including coaching in the game, phase play and shadow play; nutrition; sportsmanship/ethics; and a leadership component including team management, personal development and the coach’s role in game development in his/her community.

Time Commitment: 45 hours instruction, 6 hours evaluation
Testing: Yes
Prerequisites: Advanced National Diploma, USSF 'B' or 'A', UEFA 'B' or 'A' or Canadian 'A'

Schedule for Premier Diploma

Course Details

The Director of Coaching Diploma is a 21-hour course designed to address the issues confronting the Director of an American club. The curriculum has been created in cooperation with US Club Soccer. It examines the technical, conceptual, leadership and administrative skills of future and current Directors of Coaching for youth soccer clubs for the purpose of developing the American soccer player. This is accomplished through a curriculum rich in application and theory and will focus on organizational structure, methods of coaching, leadership theory, evaluation and development of coaches and players and fiscal, legal and moral responsibility. Candidates will understand each of the individual units of the club as well as the interrelationship of those parts to achieve the specific goals and objectives of a youth soccer club.

Time Commitment: 21 hours
Testing: No
Prerequisites: None. Recommended National Diploma or USSF D License

Schedule for Director of Coaching Diploma

Course Details

The Master Coach Diploma builds upon the 150 hours of field and classroom learning contained in the NSCAA National, Advanced National, and Premier Diploma courses. All coaches in the program will have the opportunity to learn and grow in fields such as sport psychology, leadership, team and organizational management, use of technology and nutrition.

Time Commitment: 8 months
Testing: Yes
Prerequisites: Applicants for the Master Coach must be current members of the NSCAA and are expected to have passed the NSCAA Premier Diploma with a grade of "Good Pass" or higher. The committee may consider applicants who have earned a grade of “Pass” in the Premier Diploma on the basis of contributions to the wider soccer community, a distinguished track record, or completion of other specialized NSCAA courses such as the Director of Coaching Diploma, High School Coaches Diploma or Youth/Advanced Youth Diploma.

Register for Master Coach Diploma

Course Details

The Coaching Education Program in the Patton College of Education at Ohio University and the NSCAA have developed an online master's degree program specific to soccer coaching. It is the only sport specific graduate program in the United States. The program faculty are accepting applications for Cohort 8 that will begin with a residency course at the January 2017 NSCAA Convention and for Cohort 9 that will begin with a residency course on the Athens campus of Ohio University in June 2017. This unique degree program is delivered with 10 online graduate courses and 2 face-to-face residency courses. Two cohorts of 25 students each are admitted twice a year in January and June. Students register for two courses per semester/summer session and take one course at a time.

Time Commitment: 2 years
Testing: Yes
Prerequisites: A prospective student must meet the following requirements to be considered for unconditional admission to the School of Recreation and Sport Pedagogy Graduate Program in Soccer Coaching:

  • Earned bachelor's degree in exercise physiology, physical education, sport sciences, or related field from an accredited college or university. If your bachelor's degree is in an unrelated field, you may still be admitted.
  • A minimum of three years of soccer coaching experience completed after earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • An minimum of a NSCAA 11v11 Coaching Diploma, USSF “D” license or equivalent.
  • Minimum overall undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale on the last 90 quarter hours or the last 60 semester hours.
  • A $50 nonrefundable application fee applies.

    Register for Master's Degree in Soccer Coaching

    The objectives of the Goalkeeping courses are to first, provide clarity around the goalkeeping function, second, to create an optimal learning environment for the specialized position, and third, teach the tactical components and the specifics of training. Note: When Goalkeeping Level 1 and Level 2 diplomas are offered on the same weekend / same location, it is usually possible to earn both. Check with the host to confirm.

    Course Details

    The overall objective of the Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma is to explore some of the myths and mystiques surrounding the goalkeeping function. The six-hour course is directed towards the team coach - not the specialist goalkeeper coach. The object is to empower the coach with knowledge and practice methods that will enable the coach to evaluate a goalkeeper in game situations and then design an appropriate practice program for goalkeepers in and outside of team practices. The course includes lecture (theory) and field (practical) sessions.

    Time Commitment: 6 hours
    Testing: No
    Prerequisites: None

    Schedule for Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma Host a Course

    Course Details

    The overall objective of the Goalkeeping Level 2 Diploma is to create an optimal learning environment for this specialized position. The 12-hour course is geared towards the specialist goalkeeping coach and the team coach looking for in-depth information surrounding the coaching of goalkeepers. The course includes both lecture (theory) and field (practical) sessions. An NSCAA Goalkeeping Level I Diploma is a prerequisite for this course.

    Time Commitment: 12 hours
    Testing: No
    Prerequisites: Goalkeeping Level 1

    Schedule for Goalkeeping Level 2 Diploma Host a Course

    Course Details

    The overall objective of the Goalkeeping Level 3 Diploma is to explore the tactical components of goalkeeping and the specifics of training and developing goalkeepers. The emphasis of this eighteen-hour course is on the tactical role of the goalkeeper within the team framework. All candidates wishing to take the Goalkeeping Level 3 Diploma must hold the Goalkeeping Level 1 and 2 Diplomas or equivalent (NSCAA/USSF Level 1 and Level 2 Diplomas).

    Time Commitment: 18 hours
    Testing: No
    Prerequisites: Goalkeeping Level 2

    Schedule for Goalkeeping Level 3 Diploma Host a Course

    Course Details

    The NSCAA Academy is proud to offer the Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma course as the top goalkeeper offering within the Goalkeeping Academy. Under the direction of Tony DiCicco, the Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma builds on the popular (18 hour) Level 3 Goalkeeping Diploma course. The ANGD course is a 50-hour residential course and is one of the most comprehensive goalkeeping courses for coaches anywhere in the world. Lectures on all aspects of advanced positioning, communication, goalkeeper psychology, fitness and methodology for training goalkeepers will be addressed. There will also be field sessions dealing with the following topics: Basic to advanced handling, training goalkeepers to make diving saves, resolving the through-ball and breakaway saves. Dealing with all aspects of flank attacks, commanding the penalty area and the learning how to win the space behind the defense. Training the team and goalkeeper on backpass situations and developing the goalkeeper’s ability to distribution. In addition, the course will deal with training goalkeepers to cover the space behind them when they are extended, coaching coaches to teach goalkeepers how to read the game, how to organize the defense and how to control game tempo. Note: There is a pre-course assignment associated with attending an Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma course. The assignment is to provide a video showing a candidate training/coaching a goalkeeper(s). Additional details on the assignment will be sent to you after you have registered for the course.

    Time Commitment: 50 hours instruction, 6 hours evaluation
    Testing: Yes
    Prerequisites: Goalkeeping Level 3 and National Diploma

    Schedule for Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma

    Course Details

    This introductory course is perfect for high school and youth coaches who want to establish a solid foundation of coaching knowledge. The interactive course features an engaging interface that incorporates audio, video and text to teach essential soccer coaching techniques and methods.

    Time Commitment: 5 hours (Online)

    Schedule for NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching

    Course Details

    The High School Coaches Diploma deals with managerial issues and practice and game strategies specific to coaches of boys and girls high school teams. The course is designed to address the many issues and responsibilities unique to high school coaches in this country. The course curriculum examines the distinctive role high school coaches play in the personal development of young players.

    Time Commitment: 21 hours

    Schedule for High School Diploma Host a Course

    Course Details

    The High School Coaches Diploma: Leadership and Management is a twelve hour classroom course focused on challenges faced by high school coaches in such areas as team management, team building, creating and maintaining team cultures, team values and ethics, out of season training, maintaining positive relationships with administrators, and leadership of young women and men of high school age. The course includes presentations by NSCAA Staff Coaches and guided discussions among peers.

    Time Commitment: 12 hours

    Schedule for Leadership and Management Host a Course

    Course Details

    The High School Coaches Diploma: Systems and Tactics—Team Training is a twelve hour course focused on enhancing the skills of high school coaches in the areas of technical and tactical training and the development and implementation of systems of play. The course begins in the classroom with lecture and discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of various systems of play; the course then moves to the field for model training sessions on functional training and phase play, set pieces, small-sided games, incorporating the goalkeeper into team training, and coaching in the game.

    Time Commitment: 12 hours

    Schedule for Systems and Tactics - Team Training Host a Course

    Details

    The NSCAA has launched Get aHEAD Safely in Soccer™, the first interactive online course developed to educate coaches on how to teach safer heading techniques for players ages 11-13. This 30-minute course is free and available to anyone and everyone interested in heading safety.

    More Info

    Details

    The NSCAA and U.S. Futsal have partnered to create their first-ever coaching course for the most popular soccer variation in the world.

    Register

    Details

    The short and long term effects of the US Soccer Federation Player Development initiatives are far reaching, impacting all youth clubs and coaches. As a way to prepare you for some of these initiatives the NSCAA has developed the Small Sided Games: 4v4, 7v7 and 9v9 Special Topics Diploma. This series is dedicated to preparing players, teams and clubs to address the tactical, technical and logistical opportunities presented in this new era in youth soccer. Coaches attending the "NSCAA Small Sided Games Diploma - 4v4, 7v7 and 9v9" will be treated to four presentations including 42 training activities to support the new playing formats.

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    Details

    This series explores the five principles of attack, namely penetration, width, support, mobility and improvisation. These concepts are detailed in 4 dynamic 20-30 minute presentations facilitated Ian Barker, NSCAA Director of Coaching Education. Each session includes 5-6 activities to improve your teams attacking success. If you are a Coach, Professional Educator or Club Director you will not want to miss this opportunity to learn from best practice and achieve professional development credit! Participants registering for the complete volume will receive a Special Topics Diploma and 23 printable, full color activity plans suitable for players 8 and older.

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    Details

    This series explores the five principles of defense, namely pressure, cover/support, balance, delay and compactness. These concepts are detailed in 4 dynamic 20-30 minute presentations facilitated Ian Barker, NSCAA Director of Coaching Education. Each session includes 5-6 activities to improve your teams defending success. If you are a Coach, Professional Educator or Club Director you will not want to miss this opportunity to learn from best practice and achieve professional development credit! Participants registering for the complete volume will receive a Special Topics Diploma and 23 printable, full color activity plans suitable for players 8 and older.

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    Details

    This series focuses on moments in the game that become critical to the result. Topic areas include transitioning into a counterattack, 'killing' the game off when in the lead and game- winning restarts, to name just a few. The clinicians in this series are proven winners in pressured situations and collectively have won the World Cup, Olympic Gold Medal and National Collegiate Championships as coaches. The talented group of educators will inspire participants to work with their teams and provide unique insight into decision making at crucial moments in a game. If you are a Coach, Professional Educator or Club Director you will not want to miss this opportunity to learn from best practice.

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    Details

    An interactive online mini-course developed to help educate coaches about the inclusion and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes. This 10-minute course is offered as a free public service by NSCAA’s LGBT and Allies Member Community in partnership with Athlete Ally, a national nonprofit organization that provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and other resources to foster inclusive sports communities.

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    Details

    This online course is the perfect introduction to coaching for the first-time coach or a good refresher for someone coming back to youth coaching.

    Coming Fall 2016

    Details

    Establishing a developmentally appropriate and consistent approach to player development has never been easier with the assistance of NSCAA. For the first time in youth coaching, the NSCAA offers coaching education tutorials packed with activities, tips and advice for coaches working with youth players 3-18 years old. A coach listens to a 5 minute clinic tutorial, prints off the activity plan and is ready to inject new life into a coaching session. Select one or multiple stages from the NSCAA 5 Stages of Development Curriculum Model: Stage 1: 3-5 year old; Stage 2: 6 -8 year old; Stage 3: 9-11 year old; Stage 4: 12-14 years old; Stage 5: 15-18 years old. Includes 100 activities expertly illustrated in full color and 100 activity presentations (20 per stage), 6 Curriculum presentations with handouts and an NSCAA Diploma for each Stage completed. A great purchase for a club to support it's coaches.

    Coming Soon!

    Improving Soccer. One Coach at a Time.

    The NSCAA offers a comprehensive yet focused curriculum inclusive of all coaches at all levels of the game.

    Our staff coaches approach all participants in NSCAA Coaching Education programs as colleagues with whom we share the coaching journey. Collegiality and mutual, lifelong learning underpin all we do in our coaching education. Our mission is to help our fellow coaches grow and develop in a positive and professional manner in each and every course we teach.

    NSCAA Coaching Academy offerings are geared toward enhancing the development of the broadest cross-section possible of our membership. You may enroll in a course geared to the level of player you coach. We celebrate the immense knowledge current and former players bring to the craft of coaching, we embrace coaches new to the game and we honor the wisdom of veteran coaches.