By Tim Bradbury
ENYYSA Director of Coaching
There are so many places to begin when it comes to the conversation on why every child deserves a minimally educated coach, at the very least, at every game and training session that I always wonder why anyone seeks to deny them the right!
Yes, I wrote the right.
So, let’s start with the facts as they are simple and undeniable:
- Because the USA is the only major country that has not signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
- Statistics show that those children who have the privilege of having a somewhat educated coach have a 70% greater chance of staying in the game than those who don’t.
- The number of players forced out of the game at an alarming rate by the age of 12 should concern us all and it is a fact we can no longer ignore.
- Being a volunteer means you promise to do your best with the kids you serve, and one 4-hour course is the minimum they deserve.
- Many clubs and leagues have mantras and marketing campaigns that claim to put player development as the core of their club. Time to make this a reality.
- Many clubs are now turning the bulk of the coaching work over to paid “professionals.” In many circumstances, these professionals have no minimal licensing.
- Adults in game technical areas all shout orders at kids whether they are named as coach, attend training sessions or don’t. Some frequently, some rarely, and it often contradicts the order being given by the paid trainer. The kids deserve a game experience that makes sense, is player-centered and is fun.
Some four years ago, all the leagues that make up Eastern New York agreed that competitive travel and elite players deserve the right to be coached by a minimally-licensed adult and the Grassroots mandate came into existence. Due to COVID, we’ve been delayed in introducing a definite introduction date. This date is now set for the Fall Season of 2023. At that time, any adult who requests a coaching pass will need to have the minimum of US Soccer Grassroots license or equivalent thereof. For more detailed information on the Grassroots mandate, please go to:
More than 9,000 people have already meet the minimum level and have taken Grassroots courses. Beyond that, the mandate demands along with the number of course offerings that clubs and leagues have booked, there is no reason why any parent/coach or administrator who wishes to do so cannot get the required license in plenty of time for the Fall Season.
For more detailed information on Grassroots courses that are available, please visit