USA Football Launches Enhanced, Nationally Accredited Youth Coach Certification Benefiting Young Players
22 Apr, 2020
While USA Football and youth football leagues follow direction from public health and government leaders to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and children nationwide hope for a safe return to play this fall.
USA Football’s Youth Coach Certification, nationally accredited by the United States Center for Coaching Excellence, is a leading 21st century standard across grassroots levels of America’s favorite sport.
Bolstered with new improvements for 2020, USA Football’s youth coach certification is now available nationwide for coaches of children who love the fun, fitness and friends gained through football.
“While we fight COVID-19 as a country and follow the lead of our public health and government leaders, all of us in youth sports hope to return to our fields, rinks, courts and diamonds soon,” said USA Football CEO & Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK. “And when we do, our expanded coach certification will play a vital role preparing dedicated football coaches with enhanced educational content founded on age-appropriateness and skill-progression that will lead to safer play, more fun and an overall better experience for their players.”
USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). More than 700,000 coach certifications have been completed through USA Football since 2012, spanning all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and 10 foreign countries across four continents.
“USA Football’s coach certification for 2020 is what next-generation youth coaching looks like,” said TeachAids Founder and CEO DR. PIYA C. SORCAR. “TeachAids is excited to deliver the certification’s concussion education through our CrashCourse module. This is another example of football – USA Football in particular – taking the lead to make sports safer and smarter for our kids and it starts with education through a nationally accredited, compelling certification.”
“By seeking accreditation through the USCCE’s National Committee for Accreditation of Coach Education, USA Football has shown that it is positioning itself as a leader in coach education,” the U.S. CENTER FOR COACHING EXCELLENCE announced.“Through the accreditation process, USA Football mapped its coach education program to SHAPE America’s National Standards for Sport Coaches demonstrating their commitment to training adults who can make youth football a positive, healthy and enjoyable sport experience for all athletes.”
The enhanced curriculum includes improved courses and bonus resources aligned with USA Football’s Football Development Modelto help coaches develop the whole athlete based on a child’s age and stage of development. The Football Development Model, introduced nationally in February 2020, aligns with the USOPC’s American Development Model for healthier and smarter youth sport participation.
CONTENT AND RESOURCES WITHIN USA Football Youth Coach Certification:
Certification (italicized and underlined = new for 2020):
(updated for 2020)
(updated for 2020)
Customized for ages 5+, 8+, 10+ & 12+
Created by NBC SportsEngine’s
National Center for Safety Initiatives
Bonus resources available throughout 2020 (italicized and underlined = new for 2020):
Advance progressive skill and physical literacy development with more than 200 drills for passing, running, receiving, kicking and punting
New app includes a variety of resources, including abilities to create practice plans, animated skill diagrams and 165+ drills to select from
Skill progressions and 100+ drills including Prep for Contact, blocking, defeating blocks and flag pulling and tackling
48 practice plans, including 12 for each age and stage (5+, 8+, 10+, 12+), to help coaches meet USA Football practice and contact guidelines
Access to education videos, webinars, play calling and play diagramming resources
USA Football’s Youth Coach Certification is available for both non-contact and contact coaches. Regardless of what version of football is coached, all youth coaches are trained on the following:
- Football Development Model age-appropriate modules
- TeachAids’ CrashCourse concussion recognition and response module, in collaboration with Stanford University
- Abuse prevention through NBC SportsEngine’s National Center for Safety Initiatives
- Sudden cardiac arrest information and protocols
- Heat preparedness and hydration information and protocols from the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut
Youth coaches of contact teams also complete the following coursework to earn certification:
- Blocking and defeating blocks
- Shoulder tackling
- Equipment fitting
- USA Football Levels of Contact
During and after completing their certification, youth coaches also receive access to new, developmentally appropriate USA Football coaching resources that are available throughout 2020, including:
- Player Progression Guide to advance progressive skill development and physical literacy with more than 200 drills for passing, running, receiving, kicking and punting
- Contact Manual with skill progressions and more than 100+ drills spanning Prep for Contact, blocking, defeating blocks and flag pulling and tackling
- Forty-eight (48) developmentally appropriate practice plans – including 12 for each age and stage corresponding to Football Development Model Age-Appropriate Courses (5+, 8+, 10+, 12+). Each practice plan helps coaches teach their kids with USA Football practice and contact guidelines.
- Access to education videos, webinars, play calling and play diagramming resources
USA Football youth coach certification via online coursework – valued at $25 – is available for $15 in 2020.
USA Football youth coach certification clinic registration is $25. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, no clinics are scheduled at this time. USA Football will announce 2020 clinic locations and dates as public health circumstances dictate.
Support for USA Football’s Youth Coach Certification*
*Accredited by the United States Center for Coaching Excellence
“Requiring our coaches to be certified by USA Football helps ensure they are knowledgeable on key points ranging from concussion recognition and response protocols to tackling techniques. Our program also appreciates USA Football training coaches through specific player-age-based coursework. This helps coaches be more familiar with the age group they coach and guide.” Toi Debose, Athletic Director, Fort Bend (Texas) Youth Football League
“Continuing education must be made a priority by all appropriate level coaches and it begins with USA Football. Coaching education is as important from the technical aspect of football as it is from the tactical side. USA Football coach certification continues to help me grow and develop. Growth is not an 11-on-11 matter, it’s an ‘all hands matter.’” Issac Kemp, Jr. High School Head Coach, Kimberly (Wisc.) Bulldogs Football
“USA Football invests countless hours and expert resources in putting together curriculum and content that takes the guesswork out of it for me and our league. I can say with confidence that the USA Football Coach Certification has made me a better coach, a better mentor, and a better leader. As president of Upper Loudoun Youth Football, I’m proud to partner with USA Football and I’m committed to providing annual certification for all coaches in our league at all levels. The USA Football program is that important to the future of the game.” Robert Sellers, Veteran Youth Coach & President, Upper Loudoun (Va.) Youth Football League
“Completing USA Football’s coach certification has been a huge benefit for me and my staff. I’m better prepared to teach the sport in a safe, efficient way. The certification benefits our players more than anyone. Jason Wass, Youth Football Coach, Salamanca (N.Y.) Warriors
“USA Football is establishing a set of standards by which a person becomes certified to coach and I endorse that 100 percent. Only allow your child to play when you know that USA Football certification is there for the coach and you know that your child is being taught the proper fundamentals of the game and that real intelligence has gone into the preparation of practices.” Tom Coughlin, Super Bowl XLII and XLVI Champion Head Coach
“The efforts of USA Football are critically important to make the game better. It’s a great opportunity for coaches to coach the right way and for parents to understand that their coach has been certified, not just in the techniques of the game, but in the way to teach young people. Let’s train them to be their very best.” John Harbaugh, Head Coach, Baltimore Ravens
“Youth football is led by thousands of caring parents and volunteers who have an almost unparalleled platform to model, mentor and teach the social, emotional and character development necessary for every student-athlete to reach their greatest human potential. To support and implement the idea that the human growth and development of athletes is the primary purpose of youth and adult participation, I strongly recommend USA Football’s Coach Certification as foundational to maximize this potential. USA Football’s Coach Certification addresses these beliefs.
“As a former two-sport college athlete and 10-year NFL player who has been involved in youth sports for a long time, I’ve found that the best coaches are those who develop the personal growth of their athletes and understand success is not necessarily tied to the scoreboard. This certification develops the transformational coaching so desperately needed to help young people become the best version of themselves.” Joe Ehrmann, InSideOut Initiative Co-Founder, Author of InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives, subject of the NY Times Best-Seller, Season of Life; A Ball Boy, A Football Star and a Journey into Manhood.
About USA Football: USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance, unify and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players.