Coaching Course Descriptions


Since 1999, over 4,000 coaches have taken part in the New York State West coach education courses. We hope that this trend continues long into the future. Many of our member clubs and organizations now recommend/mandate that their coaches have minimum licensing requirements before being placed with any level of team.

Designed to meet the changing needs of today’s game, the national coaching program creates an environment that immerses coaches in the culture of the game. The four levels of courses that we offer emphasize field instruction in the areas of technique, tactics, and fitness. The courses also offer instruction in methodology, team management, and sport psychology.

New York State West Youth Soccer has created a faculty of highly trained, knowledgeable and courteous instructors, all of which have completed the courses themselves. Instructional courses are held on a regular basis to keep our staff abreast of all current trends.

The US Soccer National Coaching School is recognized as the only licensing body in the USA by soccer’s international governing body - F.I.F.A.

Our objective is to provide all western New York coaches, from the beginner to the experienced, the up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge to ensure that players are provided the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The US Soccer , New York State West Coaches Education Program provides:

  1. Courses in which candidates can earn nationally certified credentials and take advantage of the recognition inherent in the attainment of various levels of coaching expertise.
  2. A proven curriculum, which improves the candidates knowledge of the game.
  3. Valuable information on current coaching trends and international developments in the game.


Certification begins at the state level with the introductory courses, which cover the elementary principles of coaching and prepare interested coaches for the 36-hour National D license.


The State Youth Module courses are designed for the parent/coach of U6-U12 beginning players.  The 4 hour course is provided in two formats, each of which is designed to provide a better understanding of the characteristics of U6-U12 children,  as well as  how to create an ideal learning environment.  The traditional course is offered in a 4 hour, on site format with 2 hours of theory in a classroom and 2 hours of practical work on the field.  Our newest option is a combination of distance learning and practical field work.  Still 4 hours in length, this new course allows the candidate to complete the 2 hours of theory at their own pace and convenience in an on-line format.  To complete the course, they will select a 2 hour practical portion to be completed on site at a local facility.


The State E Certification course is designed for the coach of players that are preparing to or already playing the 11 v 11 game. Focus is on the players aged 12 through 14. Candidates are introduced to the methodology of coaching that is used throughout the National Coaching School Program. The use of small-sided games to teach technique and tactics will be demonstrated. The preparation of lesson plans that progress in a simple to complex fashion is a main focus of the course. Laws of the Game and Team Management are also included in the curriculum. The course is 18 hours in duration and is normally conducted on Friday evenings through Sunday afternoons.

There is no testing on this course, however candidates must be in attendance at all scheduled sessions. No pre-requisites are required, yet one must be 17 years of age to take this course.  The course fee is $115.00.

Beginning September 1st 2008 NYSW will no longer offer Waivers of the State E certification course.
All coaches regardless of playing or coaching experience will be required to attend the State E Certification course and wait 12 months before applying to take the National D license.
Two years ago the National D License content and methodology was updated and improved to better challenge the coach in the delivery of information. The Guided Discovery methodology with a less intrusive role for the coach is now practiced and mirrors the standards of the C, B,  and A license. The use of appropriate activities through a simple to complex progression has, for the most part, proven difficult for “waived” candidates to digest when their initial introduction to it has been on the actual D course at which they are being tested. The methodology is introduced on the E certification in a no “pressure” situation with the absence of testing. Attendance at the E certification will better prepare the candidate and increase our National Pass candidates and in turn increase the overall level of coaching across the state. 
Licenses or Diplomas from other organizations and or Countries will be recognized for waiver. All supporting documentation must be sent to the State Director of Coaching prior to D license application.
Any questions regarding this change in policy should be directed to the state office.


The D License course is the first step in the National Licensing accreditation.  The course is designed to prepare, and is a pre-requisite for the National C License.  The course focuses on the youth player that is 14 through 18 years of age. Candidates are tested in their understanding of the technical and tactical demands of the game and the developmental process necessary for players in this age group.  The course provides an opportunity to further understand the practical coaching methodology and framework necessary to prepare players and a team for competition.  The course also covers Team Management and Match Analysis.  Candidates are tested in both practical coaching ability and knowledge of the game through theory papers.

The course is 36 hours in duration and normally takes place over two weekends. Applicants must have held the E Certification for 12 months.  No waiver of the E License requirement will  be granted for this course.   Candidates must be 18 years of age to take this course.
The course fee is $215.00. 

This is a Pass/ Fail course.  Candidates will either be granted a National D License or deemed to be not ready, and issued a State Certification.  Candidates granted a National D License are required to wait 12 months before applying for a C License. Candidates receiving an NR (Not Ready) must be re-tested before upgrading to a National C license.  Candidates wishing to be re-tested must contact the State Director of Coaching and attend the second weekend of a scheduled D course.  There is a $25 fee for re-testing.


New York State West is now recognized by US Youth Soccer and the US Soccer Federation as one of the few state associations with the required level of instructors with the expertise and experience to host both the National C and the National Youth License courses.

We intend to host both on a two-year cycle. This represents a marvelous opportunity for coaches seeking to gain these licenses without the added cost of traveling out of state.


The State Goalkeeping Certificate is a course designed to address technical, functional and psychological considerations of this unique position. Our goal is to provide coaches with the fundamentals required to address and coach the goalkeeper as he or she would any other player on the field. The 6-8 hour course will be a combination of classroom discussions and activities and practical field sessions. The first half of the course covers the technical foundation of the position and its application to the game. The second half discusses the goalkeepers role as a part of the team and provides examples of how to integrate the goalkeeper into your training sessions.  
Upon completion of the course, coaches will be awarded a State Goalkeeping Certificate. As with all courses offered by NYSW, candidates will be expected to participate in certain portions of the course. No prior goalkeeping experience is required or expected. Candidates must be at least 16 years of age to take the course
This course was designed to bridge the gap between the Youth Module course and the State E certificate course. As soccer has evolved, and the concept of small sided games has been accepted state wide, we decided that it was necessary to create a learning opportunity that focused on the practical side of how to implement the small sided game approach to player development. This 6-8 hour course will introduce basic methodology to create realistic and practical training sessions to prepare children to play in the 6v6, 7v7, 8v8, and 9v9 environment. Focus is on teaching players their roles and responsibilities as players, regardless of the “formation” that a coach may choose to employ. It provides a combination of classroom and field activities in which the candidates will all need to participate. As with all NYSWYSA, USYSA and USSF courses, the candidates will be used as the players in the sessions. Candidates will be awarded a State Certificate upon completion of the course. This course does not include any candidate assessment. Candidates must be at least 16 years of age to take this course.


If your club or organization would like to host a coaching course, follow this link to the course hosting application.  Details of all scheduled courses are listed on the Website. Please click on “Coaching” and then click on “Coaching Courses”.

Candidates who hold a comparable coaching licence from another soccer organization or country may be granted a waiver for the E Certification upon production of complete documentation, review, and approval by NYSWYSA.