New Coaching Guide Available From U.S. Soccer; Best Practices For Coaching Soccer in the United States

70-page Book Serves as Player Development Guidelines for Soccer Coaches;

U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Education Department has released a new publication designed to give youth and junior level soccer coaches in the United States a set of fundamental tools to help open up the game of soccer to young players in ways that celebrate the sport’s spontaneous qualities. The 70-page “Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States” coaching book serves as the sport’s definitive new player development guidelines and is available now as a free download.

  • Order Your Professionally Bound Copy of "Best Practices" direct from U.S. Soccer - Order Form (.pdf)
  • Best Practices (.pdf) - A high-speed connection is recommended to download the 70-page document

The new “Best Practices” document represents a series of recommendations compiled and reviewed by U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education Bob Jenkins in conjunction with the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team coaching staffs. Ultimately, the document helps to organize a body of work originally created by many current and former U.S. Soccer coaches as position statements regarding club soccer or as curriculum for coaching education courses. It serves as a compilation of what U.S. Soccer considers to be an appropriate and responsible approach to developing soccer players.

“The scope of coaching education in the United States is as large as the country itself,” said Jenkins. “As our society is woven with the threads of many cultures, our soccer has become the product of the styles and experiences of the many diverse communities across the country. And while this presents us with a set of challenges that are unique to the United States, this diversity also helps to continually breathe life into our soccer community. It is against this backdrop that we are helping to prepare coaches to bring the game of soccer to our young players.”

At the core of ”Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States” is the belief that there is not just “one way” to teach soccer to players, nor is there just one style of coaching. These player development guidelines highlight that there is a broad spectrum of styles and methods for how everyone experiences the game. Some of these factors come from a player’s background, while some of them are a product of a player’s own personality.

At the youth and junior levels, however, there is a set of fundamental principles that should be considered by anyone coaching soccer. The starting point of these principles is that young soccer players require a certain amount of uninterrupted play, which allows them to experience soccer first hand. These young players should be allowed the opportunity to experiment, and with that, succeed and fail. A coach’s long-term goal is to prepare a player to successfully recognize and solve the challenges of a game on his or her own. It is vital that the coach approaches soccer with this in mind.

To download “Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States,” click on the link above. Printed copies are also available for $15 (includes shipping and handling) from U.S. Soccer by sending a check made payable to U.S. Soccer, c/o U.S. Soccer Coaching Education “Best Practices“, 1801 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago, IL 60616.