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Coaching Policy

All AYSO coaches must be trained at the appropriate level of the team they are coaching.

The AYSO National Coaching Program stresses an age-appropriate approach that helps coaches create a fun, motivational soccer environment and educates coaches on what to expect from players at each age level. One of the biggest problems for youth coaches can be applying training methods that are too advanced for a particular age group.

The AYSO coaching courses have been designed using extensive research in child education and the way soccer players the world over are developed, technically and tactically. Coaches – whether soccer novices or with a deep background in soccer – come out of AYSO courses with more confidence and a better understanding of how to teach soccer, which leads to more enjoyment for them and their players. 

We are increasing our efforts to deliver this important training more frequently.  We are working through our area and section coaching staffs to secure additional support in staging this training. 

When did this requirement go into effect?

The U-6 coaching certification requirement was mandated in 2010.  As of August 1st, 2011 the requirement was mandated for the U8 division as well.  In 2012, the certification  will be mandated for the U10 division.  The AYSO coach training policy will continue to roll forward, adding one additional level of required age-specific coach training each year until, by the 2015 membership year, every AYSO coach and assistant coach at every level will be appropriately trained for the team they will coach.
The certification is currently mandatory in all age divisions for all coaches attending Section 5 and National Games.

Will all coaches (head and assistant) be required to be trained?

Yes. All head coaches and assistant coaches will be required to have attended AYSO’s age-appropriate training.

Will AYSO coaches still be required to be currently registered AYSO volunteers and have AYSO Safe Haven® certification and Concussion Awareness Training?

Yes. All AYSO coaches will still be required to be currently registered AYSO volunteers and have completed both AYSO Safe Haven® certification and Concussion Awareness training.

What about coaches who have been coaching in a Region for years and have not attended any training? Will they be granted a waiver?

No. Coaches with no training certifications will be required to attend the appropriate level of training.  Training is a benefit. It makes coaches – even long time coaches – better coaches. And better coaches make a more enjoyable experience for the players.

If a coach is not trained will the Region have to cancel games?

Yes. The plan is that ample opportunities will be available to secure the needed training, including an online course, enabling even a last-minute volunteer to get the training that will make him/her more effective and will provide a better experience for the players and their families. All our members must know the importance AYSO assigns to properly trained coaches. For that occasional situation where the regular coach is unable to attend the game, another age-appropriately trained coach can serve as a substitute.

Does the AYSO Coach Advisory Commission support this requirement that all AYSO coaches be age-appropriately trained?

Yes. Enthusiastically! Several years ago, AYSO National Coach John Ouellette assembled an advisory group made up of some of the best minds in the game. They studied the way in which players in countries the world over are developed, technically and tactically. From those sessions emerged decisions about the number of players on the field, the specific skills to be taught at each age group and the proper point at which to introduce tactical decision making. Today, the AYSO National Coaching Program, the only soccer training program in the country to be accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education, is a bottom to top, incremental approach to teaching the game of soccer to kids. In 2005, the United States Soccer Federation published “Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States,” a position paper on teaching the game that is essentially a mirror image of the principles and practices AYSO has advocated for years. The members of today’s AYSO National Coach Advisory Commission are products of that AYSO Coaching Program, success stories drawn from Sections all across the country who know personally the benefits AYSO coach training provides. They are excited for this opportunity to further spread the good word and will lend their support to the rollout. Why? It is the right thing to do for our kids and our game.

Read the USSF Player Development Guidelines