CHICAGO (April 25, 2012) – This past February 2012, the U.S. Soccer Coaching Department held a conference in Boston, Mass., with 80 people in attendance from state associations across the country. This gathering followed six workshops U.S. Soccer held in the fall of 2011, which had over 150 instructors attend. These conferences were organized in order to introduce instructors to recent changes the Coaching Department made to the “E” Coaching Course.
The revamped “E” course is in line with the U.S. Soccer Curriculum launched in April 2011. The 18-hour-long course, which covers the elementary principles of coaching 9-to 12-year-olds, introduces coaches to the fundamentals to planning training sessions, gives primary examples to what 9 to 12 year old athletes should focus on and offers coaches individual feedback from on-field coaching.
“It is all about elevating the standard of coaching education in our country and the new ‘E’ license is the beginning,” said South Texas Youth Soccer Director Neal Ellis. “It is important to set a better standard of education and hold our coaches accountable.”
One purpose of the changes, as Ellis mentions, is to set higher standards for coaches who are taking the “E” license course. The updates will improve the overall quality of the course so that coaches will receive crucial knowledge that they can then pass on to players.
“In our opinion, developing coaches with a better understanding and knowledge of the game will lead to better players playing the game,” said Cal South Director of Coaching Education and Player Development Steve Hoffman.
“These changes are important stepping stones in clearing the pathway for our youth players at every level to enjoy a higher-quality environment,” adds U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Dave Chesler. “The changes reflect increased expectations for the instruction of the course as well as coaching candidate performance.”
The modifications are meant to create a more uniform “E” license course across the country so that coaches in every state receive a similar education. One of the primary changes is the “E” course will now be recognized as a “license” course in every state, rather than just a “certificate.”
The U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Department intends to host annual national and regional training workshops to educate the state instructors on these changes. It also plans to communicate revisions through a variety of online resources.
“The process of change is well underway as six regional-based Instructor Training Workshops were held this past fall,” said Chesler. “Annual workshops to update and reinforce methods will also be a part of this dynamic educational process.”
“Cal South has had more than 500 coaches go through the new course since January 2012,” said Hoffman. “The biggest thing we have noticed are coaches come to the course prepared and are way more focused.”
In addition to changes in the “E” license, U.S. Soccer is also looking towards the future as it works on revisions to the “D” License course. The ultimate goal is for the newly formatted “E” course to flow smoothly into the “D” course. The revisions to the “D” course are scheduled to be published in the fall of 2012.
“Detailed planning is in progress to ensure that the ‘E’ content and competencies are compatible with the subsequent licensing levels” explained Chesler. “All courses will be re-constructed to reflect higher expectations and increased detail in all aspects.”
“I feel the new ‘E’ course will prepare coaches better for the U.S. Coaching Education Pathway and it will also help the players by having coaches that are more prepared to teach them” said Hoffman.
Hawaii's next E License Course is scheduled for July 27-29, 2012 at Waipio Soccer Complex in Honolulu.