National D License

DESCRIPTION:  The National "D" license is a 36 to 40-hour course designed for the experienced coach who has already earned a National "E" license. The focus of this course is to improve a coach’s ability to positively influence individual players and teams.  Typically, each weekend consists of Friday from 6:00-9:30, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00-6:00. Candidates must be prepared to participate in the practical field activities and should be dressed appropriately.  Minimum age for registration is 18.

Cost:  $270.00

What are the key components of the "D" license course?

  • Develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach the 13-14 year old athlete and team. 
  • Understand the characteristics and needs of an athlete in the Intermediate Stage of U.S. Soccer's Athlete Development Model.
  • Build on the foundation of knowledge and experience in order to proceed through the sequence of coaching development courses.

What are the specific target outcomes of the course?

  • Teach the Principles of Play in a training environment. (7v7 to 9v9).
  • Apply the Principles of Play to functional group roles in a full team system.
  • Plan a sequence of training and weekly cycles to complete a season plan.

The “D” license course is broken into four phases:

  I.  Preparation Phase:  Pre-Course

  • Candidates are required to complete five (5) assigned training sessions between the issuance of your E license and the start of the D license.  These sessions are to be planned according to USSF guidelines and will be reviewed with the instructor during the Instructional Phase. Topics are as follows:
    • Goalkeeping- Shot stopping and distribution with the hands
    • Receiving and turning
    • Individual defending
    • Improve your team's ability to build through the midfield
    • Improve your team's ability to recover the ball in the defensive third of the field

  II.  Instructional Phase (14 to 18 hrs.):  Weekend 1

  • Candidates meet face-to-face with instructors at a course.  Instruction in methodology and practical coaching. 

  III.  Deliberate Practice Phase

  • Candidates are required to complete five (5) assigned training sessions over a minimum of 10 weeks. It is expected that the sessions be evenly distributed through the 10 week period.
  • Candidates will be assigned the training sessions during the Instructional phase.

  IV.  Performance Review Phase (14 to 18 hrs.):  Weekend 2

  • Practice on-field competencies.
  • Final on-field exam

This is a Pass/ Fail course. Candidates will either be granted a National D License, a D Certification or deemed to be Not Ready. Candidates granted a National D License are required to wait 12 months before applying for a C License. Candidates receiving a D Certificate must be re-tested before upgrading to a National D license. Candidates receiving a Not Ready must retake the entire course.  Candidates wishing to be re-tested must contact the State Director of Coaching and attend another Performance Review Phase of a scheduled D course. There is a $25 fee for re-testing.

Please note that the format of this course has changed as of September 1, 2013.  Each weekend is now separated by at least 12 weeks time to provide an opportunity to complete the Deliberate Practice Phase.  Courses must be scheduled accordingly, Deliberate Practice must be scheduled during a time of peak youth soccer activity.  In addition, registration for the National D license course must close 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the course to allow for completion of Preparation Phase activities.  Candidates must seek approval from the State Director of Coaching Education if they can not meet the above deadline. 

Please click this link for more detailed course information and required pre-course resources.

Required reading prior to taking a D course.