If you’re new to coaching there are several reasons to sign up for the USSF E license. This used to be the entry license until the F license was added in May 2015, which gives you the opportunity to call yourself a “nationally licensed” coach. Technically if you take NSCAA courses you can’t do that because they are diplomas, not licenses. Until a year or two ago it was pretty easy to skip the E and go straight to the D license if you could prove to your state technical director that you had experience in the game. Now that is no longer possible unless you played in the MLS or similar exceptions, so you should expect to be taking the E course as a first step. Yes, the level is pretty low, but there are important things to pick up from the course – specifically how to plan practices in their style and how to specifically correct foundational technical movements.
The course is taken over a weekend, usually at a local club. There is a three hour classroom session on the Friday evening, followed by two days on the field – usually with the instructors teaching all of the first day and some of the second. The remainder of the time is taken up with coaches getting to run two stages of a topic and get feedback. You should expect to play every day so make sure you have some fitness and the right clothing. As you can see from the photo above, sometimes the weather might not cooperate and you could end up doing sessions indoor… so be ready to adapt!
Generally everyone passes the E license so you would have to work very hard to fail it. Attendees are usually random club coaches – often from the hosting club. Unfortunately most of the reviews we have had of the course leaned heavily on the ability of the instructors, so if you get good ones this can be a good course, but if not… For a list of current coaching topics you will get on the E course, and suggested lesson plans for them. Click here.
In 2015 the E course is likely to change slightly as the price increases to pay for a year of subscription to lesson planning software and there is a push to complete part of the classroom session online in the new multi-million dollar Digital Coaching Center. This would reduce the course to two days, instead of the extra classroom evening.
For the current E license schedule, click here.