The National Youth License or “Y” is unlike any other coaching course out there because it targets the younger age groups, which, it turns out, are entirely different to teach than the 11-18 year olds of the A-E licenses. Gone are the complex tactical activities and in are creative storytelling and guided discovery. Different styles of teaching are covered and the psychological differences of coaching a five year old vs a ten year old. Above all, for most coaches this can be a revelation as we assume from the other courses that we know how to coach and it turns out that for these ages, we probably didn’t. How much attention are you paying to water cone placement and Mosston’s Slanty Line concept when you draw out your practice plans? The Y license will show you how to do that too.
Perhaps the most interesting and challenging part is where they video you coaching and then let the whole class of coaches watch it and provide feedback. This is singularly the hardest and best piece of learning we have ever had on a coaching course (just wait until you see how bad your coaching looks!).
The course was fun, challenging, and extremely useful. The material is not taught on any other USSF course. Final field tests are done with young kids, so you really get the actual experience. There is also an oral test and a few written pieces. Sam Snow runs a lot of them, with help from regional staff. Sam is a great teacher, with some strong opinions. He makes this course what it is in many ways. Usually the Y course is hosted by states when then bring in national staff to help teach it. Check out your state director to find out if they plan to host one any time soon.
For the current Y License schedule, click here.