US coaches body revamps education courses to fit new national thinking

NSCAA Convention

September 2 – The US overhaul of its youth training and playing structures have continued with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the world’s largest coaches organisation, unveiling a suite of new coaching education programmes and qualifications that focus on small-sided games.

The new courses replace the NSCAA Levels 1-6 Diploma curriculum and are structured to develop from 4v4 to 11v11. The NSCAA Coaching Development Courses include the online NSCAA Fundamentals of Coaching Diploma as well as the 4v4, 7v7/9v9 and 11v11 NSCAA Diploma courses requiring participants to attend in-person.

“Experts have long pointed to small sided games as the right way for young players to develop their soccer skills,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, NSCAA Chief Executive Officer. “Recent changes in the youth soccer landscape has given the NSCAA the opportunity to take a fresh approach to how we design and deliver coaching education for newer coaches.”

The new curriculum has been developed by NSCAA Director of Coaching Education Ian Barker and NSCAA Education Content Coordinator Vince Ganzberg, and the courses can be taken in any order, depending on a coach’s immediate needs.

“We hear it again and again that coaching education at the grassroots novice and intermediate level needs to be accessible and honor a coach’s time,” said Barker. “We wanted these to be information-packed and enjoyable, but also prepare a coach for any higher level diploma or licensing courses they may choose to take in the future.”

The new courses are:

NSCAA Foundations of Coaching Diploma: Online course for the first-time coach or a good refresher for someone coming back to youth coaching.

4v4 Diploma: Three hour in-person course for coaches with players ages 8 and under.

7v7/9v9 Diploma: 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.

11v11 Diploma: Designed for coaches of the 13 and above player.  A 12 hour course focused on the 11v11 games with topics including formations and systems of play, player competencies and defensive and offensive tactics.

For more information go to

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1719061879labto1719061879ofdlr1719061879owedi1719061879sni@n1719061879osloh1719061879cin.l1719061879uap1719061879