USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, announced today that the non-profit’s Youth Coach Certification Program has been accredited by the the United States Center for Coaching Excellence’s (USCCE) National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE). USA Football offers the only USCCE-accredited certification for youth football coaches. USA Football’s accreditation is active through 2028.
“The USCCE is proud to accredit coaching education programs like USA Football, that have focused on providing an evidence-based educational support system to coaches — particularly the volunteer youth sport coaches — that provides them with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to teach young people within sport, and to provide great experiences and outcomes," said USCCE President Kristen Dieffenbach, according to a The News & Observer.
Since 2013, USA Football has completed more than 900,000 coaching certifications, which includes those who might have been certified more than once during the past 10 years.
“USA Football is a leader among sport organizations in the United States,” Dieffenbach said. “They have created a comprehensive teaching-based coaching education program that supports the development of the knowledge and skills an individual needs to provide ‘right age, right stage’ coaching that aligns with USA Football’s long-term athletic development framework. The alignment of their coaching education with their athlete development guidelines supports a system ... that prioritizes both quality development and participation experiences for all involved.”
“USA Football and U.S. Track and Field are the only current United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee national governing bodies to receive full program accreditation,” said USCCE Accreditation chair Andrew Driska. “Accreditation ensures that a coach education program can deliver evidence-based knowledge, resources, and skills to its coach members. USA Football has developed a comprehensive program that prepares coaches to meet youth athletes at their stage of development while prioritizing quality experiences and healthy environments.”
USA Football’s accredited certification encompasses athlete health and safety, abuse prevention, transformational coaching, and skill and technique development for tackling and blocking. It also includes education on USA Football’s Football Development Model, which has earned the support of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The USA Football model is a comprehensive approach to training created in partnership with leaders in medicine, football, and athlete development to deliver age-appropriate teaching methods.
“Today’s news underscores how USA Football remains at the forefront of coach education for our children and their families,” said Dr. Gerard Gioia, Children’s National Hospital Neuropsychology Division chief and chair of USA Football’s Medical Advisory Panel. “USA Football’s certification represents the best of youth sports. From player safety to exciting player skill development, this is what 21st century youth sports coach preparation looks like and it’s what moms and dads should expect from a sport’s national governing body. USA Football does vitally important work, advancing youth athletes’ health and wellness through a terrific team sport for our kids.”