Thoughts on the E License

Discussion in 'SoCalScene' started by Grace T., May 15, 2017.

  1. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    So I just completed the field weekend for my E license (project done and have no intention to go further). In my 40s, that made me one of the older timers in the test...lots of up and coming young people having played college ball....was really impressed by them and their knowledge base (much more than my generation)....real mix of people there including the AYSO united/extra parent volunteers looking to play club tournaments, high school coaches, up and coming young club assistant coaches and private trainers looking for the credential. Instructors were a bit crochety but also had a large knowledge base and looked to try and be helpful...as a former law instructor I can say they used the Socratic method but didn't do it well (unfocused questions leading to random answers, if thought provoking). As a keeper, the keeper was an afterthought in most of our discussions or never touched upon so I can see why coaches here are subpar in their keeper education and often don't know what to do with them (though it was one of the options for the field test, the instructor did not assign out keeper training, which I thought was a great shame). The fact you can't get a keeper license until after you obtain your "B" is insane...after the "D" maybe...just a gate keeper function to keep the keeper coaches charging higher fees.

    The instruction itself focuses on a training session plan. Very little time (even on the online portion) is given to the laws of the game, teaching techniques, or soccer knowledge (it's pretty much assumed that you already have this, but back for the F, there isn't a whole lot of instruction in those areas either). They did give us some on child development which was useful. Also a little on tactics. For the final exam, you have to prepare a training session consisting of a warm up, an small sided exercises, a mid sided exercises, and then a full scrimmage. Each step builds on the other for a topic (e.g. passing from the wide). For the field test, you have to put your small sided exercise into practice. The philosophy seems to be that kids learn best by doing in active situations that are realistic and reflect real life game situations. I think that approach has some positives: kids do thrive when they are engaged (as opposed to waiting in lines) and they get that pickup ball experience so many of them now days are missing in their neighborhoods. It also has some negatives: on the younger end, it doesn't allow very much time for teaching proper techniques as it moves very quickly from the warm up (where this technical instruction is supposed to be taught) to the full game....for example, if you are running an exercise on crossing, it's hard to get to the mid game unless your kids are crossing well...similarly for the keeper these techniques don't plug well into the larger small sided game (the keeper works better on the large or the warmup). Then, I was a bit surprised they didn't spend more time on "how to teach"...the focus all seemed to be lesson planning and they even have an online graphics tool candidates are expected to learn quickly over night. There was some lip service given to team management (a couple of online quizes about say online email communications) with very little feedback. Absolutely none was given to game management. The methodology itself is a bit inflexible too, particularly when it comes to the U12 players, who might need a little more instruction on particular aspects of the game.

    So it was an interesting experience. Somewhat fun. A bit useful. I'm not sure, however, how effective it is as a gate keeper function other than to make US Soccer some $. For the part time coaches/AYSO parents that are looking to get better, o.k. I came away with how to do a lesson plan that's effective for U12 and up (and this despite that the stated focus for players is supposed to be U9-12 for the E License). For those looking to get into professional coaching, other than learning to the graphic tool, I'm not sure how much more this gave them or how it screened them to make sure they were effective teachers. Thoughts anyone that's been through the process? Anyone whose gone further? The instructor says U.S. soccer is revising everything for next year so maybe they'll be an improvement (she says with a cynical snicker)?
     
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  2. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    p.s. for those of you that have been saying its best to get a private trainer early on U12 and afterwards your kids should be able to do individual training by themselves, I always sort of agreed with you but this experience really tilted me in the direction that you are right. Given the methodology employed by US soccer, it doesn't leave coaches a whole lot of time to teach individual topics like "how to properly volley a ball" "how to head" "how to collapse dive" for a keeper or "how to cross". If the US soccer approach is employed in earnest, I don't see how a kid can get a full soccer education without a private trainer. Tactics? Yes. Employing what they know in a realistic situation? Yes. "How to" instruction, not so much. If a coach follows the US soccer approach, they won't be spending very much time on individual technique at all.
     
  3. espola

    espola Silver Elite

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    When I took my E course years ago two people in wheelchairs passed it, so actual onfield skill is irrelevant.
     
  4. TangoCity

    TangoCity Silver

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    When I took the course (3+ years ago) everyone who showed up both days and completed all of the assignments (online, classroom, field) passed. Obviously, some deserved the passing grade more than others. While I did take it seriously, it was pretty much a pay your fee (do a little work) and get your license type of thing. They weed out more at the D level (and it is more expensive and time consuming).
     
  5. chargerfan

    chargerfan Silver

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    If your kids coach isn't teaching them individual technique at u8-12, you need to find a new coach. With a good coach at the younger ages, privates are unnecessary.
     
  6. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    It's same now. If you complete the assignment you'll pass. Not everyone though is capable of completing the assignment (think we had 3 that didn't). The field portion is pretty physically demanding especially if kid guinea pigs don't show up to act as players

    Curious on your opinion of the focus on session planning rather than teaching of technique. Does that change on the d? The impression I get is they are obsessed with guided self learning within the small sided game which may work great for a 14 year old but less so far an 8 year old
     
  7. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    My comment is not about my kids coach but more about the methodology us soccer and cal south seem to be pushing. If someone is going to be orthodox on the approach, it doesn't leave much room or time for individual skills training
     
  8. OCsoccerMANiac

    OCsoccerMANiac Bronze

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    If you actually play College (D1, 2, 3 or NIAA), you can actually skip E and go straight into the D course. Yes its more money but most clubs will reimburse if you pass the course.

    I think E is a great class for anyone to take because it gives you great insight into the game and as a parent you mind find yourself yelling less and understanding more on the sideline.

    D license and up (National C, B, and A) focuses really on the training and development. Buildup is key. As a parent watching your kids practice, look at the the drills your coach does. Does each drill relate to each other and build up ultimately to a scrimmage at the end where your player uses what they have learned and applies it?

    This is why the new DA program focuses more on training than playing games.

    To me, that's the ultimate goal is to see my kid learn something and apply it to a game situation. If the coach is doing that in practice I'm satisfied.
     
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  9. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    I don't disagree with anything you point out. And I agree the scrimmage is the logical place to end. I also agree building up an exercise is a great way to teach. For example if I'm teaching a keeper to stop high ball I'd start with warm up throws with the keeper stationary and the ball thrown high. Move to pulling down ball into chest. Jumps without receiving. Then putting it together with kicks to keeper. I'd then add pressure with a small sided activity and end with the scrimmage. But us soccer seems to emphasize the small activity and wants two (moving from small to large ending in scrimmage). I'd question if that's the best way to learn a skill that is new to the player.
     
  10. timbuck

    timbuck

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    I agree with your assessment. I took the E a few years ago. It teaches you how to run a session. And you'll pick up on a few things along the way. But it does NOTHING to show someone how to teach proper technique to a 9 year old. There were some impressive recent college players that were fun to watch during the field sessions. They made my old self look silly on a few occassions. It seems that the E license takes for granted that all kids from 8-12 know how to properly trap a ball, execute a proper push pass, how to do an instep drive kick, how to defend properly, have mastered all of the various turns and feints and understand basic tactics. There is no discussion on building out of the back, possession, playing between the lines.
    A fresh out of college player might be amazing at doing all of the above. But that doesn't mean they can break down the parts to teach them to a new player. I've taken all of the AYSO courses (u6, u8, u10, u12, Intermediate and Advanced). The AYSO courses actually teach someone how to teach things to kids. I think there needs to be some sort of combination. If the E license course added some of the Coerver stuff, it would really be improved.
    I'll be getting my D this summer (if they would finally publish some dates that fit my dang schedule). I'm not expecting that I'll learn a ton. I'm expecting the course to be a test of what I already know and how well that fits withing the guidelines of what US Soccer/Cal-South want to see.
     
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  11. OCsoccerMANiac

    OCsoccerMANiac Bronze

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    This is why as a coach, you recommend to all you players that they have a private trainer or private group practice so a trainer can focus on them and improve their technique. The coach does not have time to focus on each and every player individually during practice as much as the parent would like that. His/her job is to make the team better. So while you might spend a practice emphasizing defending a high ball driven to the keeper. I would not spend the entire practice only working with the keeper. You don't want players standing around long ever, especially younger players

    Start with a drill where the players toss the ball in the air and settle it with their body, while you throw the ball in the air to your keeper to catch, Than move to a smaller sided game where a player, or you, kicks the ball high to the keeper than they distribute and play 2v2/3v3/4v4 to goals, coach and correct on the fly or during stops in play. Than end with a larger scrimmage and see how the goalie and the players handle balls in the air.

    just my 2 cents
     
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  12. chargerfan

    chargerfan Silver

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    I meant that as a generality. I guess we have been lucky enough to find unorthodox coaches.
     
  13. socalkdg

    socalkdg Silver

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    We started using a private trainer from a different club for our daughter who plays keeper. While she has heard much of the teaching already, it helps hearing it again from a different source, it reinforces what she hears, which is important when your kid thinks they know everything. Plus getting an extra hour of one to one instruction is great.
     
  14. Surfref

    Surfref Silver Elite

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    Grace T, were you at the Ventura clinic this past weekend?
     
  15. TangoCity

    TangoCity Silver

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    There was ZERO, NADA, NOTHING about technique in the D or E license classes. But where the technique teaching came in was in the "on field" assessment when you ran your 10 minute "build up" session. You were suppose to point out corrections to players. For example, my session had something to do with "long balls" which was suppose to build up to crossing for the next student and I was suppose to correct mistakes something along the lines of showing them where on the ball to properly strike to get more loft on the ball. The instructors were watching this pretty close. So I got the feeling that you (the coach in training) were suppose to already know the techniques... with more of a classroom emphasis on how to properly recognize/correct mistakes during practice sessions AND how to recognize things to work on from observing games.

    I was given WAY more training (not that I needed it, but I did on the GK stuff) on techniques when I took all of the AYSO coaching classes. I think they assume a much lower level of soccer experience for AYSO coaches (tend to have lots of dads and moms who are thrown into the positions) thus the extra attention given to proper passing and trapping techniques. But still any of these AYSO dads/moms could apply, pay for and get an E license and never get the proper training on the basic soccer skills.

    I have noticed when watching club soccer teams (good ones even) practice that the coaches spend little to no time on correcting basic skills mistakes on the individual level. Sometimes it is frustrating to see a player not properly shoot with their instep or to continually place their plant foot too far from the ball etc... and I get the feeling that the coaches are more concentrated on the team aspect of the session. It would probably take away too much of the coaches time to keep stopping practices to correct form if it is just from a handful of kids. Without an assistant coach I can see it being difficult but I think a session on improving kicking form with both feet (proper striking technique, proper plant foot, proper follow through) could help everyone. A good motivated player will be doing this on their own or in private training though. Wayyyy back in the AYSO days, I would have an assistant coach help out and I would take two players away at a time to make sure their passing (side of the foot), instep kick and trap were the proper technique. The best coach I ever had as a youth player was a real jerk but he showed me the proper way to shoot a ball with my instep and it raised my game up a couple of levels. So the little things do make a big difference and the good coaches work in a way to correct mistakes on technique within the framework of the team sessions (which is what the E license on field session test did exactly).
     
  16. zebrafish

    zebrafish Silver

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    This 2 cents is worth a million bucks. Spot on.

    I have an E license. I agree with what was said above that it gives a good philosophical framework for planning an effective practice. An E license doesn't make you a good technical or tactical coach. Only some combination of playing, experience, learning, and some intangibles (and there are many components of this) can make a good coach.
     
  17. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Yes (but wouldn't call it a clinic :0)). Like I said, it was fun and eye opening. Given what others have confirmed though, I don't see how if this is how club coaches are "supposed" to do it (according to US soccer) you get around the private trainer issue. Our club has Friday Academy, but they only really cover shooting, speed/agility (I think there are just 2 kids in that one), and goalkeeping...nothing on coever, ball movement, or real technical things like heading/crossing/passing technique....at best the kid's education will be incomplete and that's for those kids that show up, if the sessions aren't too crowded (thankfully for our group they aren't) and have their parents spend their money on it (other than the goalkeepers). If that's what it takes, maybe the coaches should be encouraged to tell parents up front won't be focusing on refining technique...that's either up to you (if your a soccer parent) or get a trainer (a list of coaches vetted but the club attached).

    It's also silly then that people would be asking private trainers for their licensing status. The .apparently has nothing (really NOTHING) to do with their teaching technique or their ability to pass on technical knowledge. Perhaps US soccer should adopt a trainer's license (for which a D would be a prequisite)...hey more money for them....also fix the stupid rule that the goalkeeper trainer has to have a B...goalkeeper trainers more than anyone work one on one with the players and the group licensing techniques don't really have anything to do with it....bring it down so the goalkeeper license also comes after the D. Perhaps make the trainer AND goalkeeper license a prerequisite for the B
     
  18. Night Owl

    Night Owl Bronze

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    They will ask what part do you play in soccer manager or coach so they can move you to a different group.

    "E" license for manager = Coaches CYA when they arrive late or get ejected from game.
     
  19. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Our club hasn't asked but I wouldn't mind. There weren't many managers/parent reps at this one...I was surprised by the number of high school coaches I met and there were quite a few AYSOers looking to play club tournaments or in United. The instructor deliberately joke that he knew some of us were managers/parent volunteers and apologized for having to give us more info than we would need...it was funny.
     
  20. timbuck

    timbuck

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    You dont need a cal South license to coach a team in a tournament. My ayso extra team played several tournaments before I had my E.
     

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