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Next Wave Coach Academy Objectives & Components

Published on: January 19, 2018

Next Wave Coach Academy Objectives & Components

Posted by: Kincaid Schmidt | Zone 1 Technical Director

Colorado Rapids Vision

Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club currently engages female coaches above industry standards with 23% of full-time, part-time, and volunteer coaches being women. Our vision for the club is to become known as an industry-leader in the engagement of women as coaches.  The goal for the Next Wave Coach Academy is for every competitive girls team to have a female coach attached as a head coach, assistant coach, and/or mentor.

In partnership with the Alliance of Women Coaches (AWC) and Women in Youth Sports Coalition (WYSC), Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club (CRYSC) will launch the Next Wave Coach Academy in Fall 2018 with 24 women coaches.

: Of 4.1 million youth sports coaches in America, only 16% are women. The Gender & Society journal found a wide gender disparity with only 13.4% of American Youth Soccer Association coaches being women. Sport is one of the world’s most powerful social institutions, and a lack of exposure to women in leadership roles makes a lasting impression on today’s youth.

What: We will engage the “next wave” of women coaches by creating an environment where women are encouraged to coach, break barriers, and coaches are provided an individualized pathway.  This network of support will include opportunities for sport-specific licensing, professional development, and a network of experienced mentors.

How: Recruit high school players, college players, and potential coaches already involved in the club to participate in the pilot program.

Outcome: This program will increase the number of trained coaches actively working in youth soccer. The Next Wave Coach Academy will provide continued education and mentorship for long-term advancement and improvement.

Next Wave Coach Academy Program Objectives

  • Engage former players, college players, and current high school players (seniors) to encourage career options in coaching;
  • Provide an exciting and safe learning environment;
  • Increase the number of women coaches on staff;
  • Nurture participant coaches’ instructional abilities; and
  • Create a program that is effective, scalable, and replicable across sports and the country

Target Coaches and Commitment

  • A combination of current high school seniors in the club, local players in college, and CRYSC members with a playing background. Ratio of 12 coaches to 1 instructor, with a maximum of 24 coaches.
    • Application, screening and acceptance process requiring nomination, application submission by candidate, and committee review by Next Wave Coach Academy leaders
  • Coaches must commit to the following:
    • Completion of USSF Introduction to Grassroots Coaching (online module)
    • Two in-person meetings over the course of one year for coaching education under a USSF Grassroots Coach Educator
      • July 27-28 – Grassroots In-person License Part 1
        • Small-Sided Games
        • Professional Development Seminar
      • Nov 9-11 – Grassroots In-Person License Part II
        • 11v11
        • Professional Development Seminar
    • Ongoing mentorship with veteran coach (min. of 3 meetings over the course of 1 season)
    • Coaches must commit to work for CRYSC in desired level of coaching for 1 season

Program Components:

Licensing course and coaching education

  • USSF Grassroots License course for 12-24 coaches
  • Dynamic female instructor to lead the course
  • CRYSC, AWC, WYSC, the Colorado Rapids Development Academy and other potential partners will run professional development sessions in conjunction with USSF Grassroots Licensing
  • Host at the Rapids new indoor facility, The Eddy

Mentorship Program

  • Pair coaches with a club director, experienced club coach, or local college coach, depending on desired path
  • Meet with mentor once before the season, during the season, and after the season to set goals and track progress
  • Program participants receive 1 year Alliance membership and targeted communications to check in and follow up
  • CRYSC will connect high school players with a club near their college so they can continue gaining experience


  • The Alliance will create pre- and post-program surveys with questions pulled and tweaked from WCA and Mentorship surveys
  • Track programs coaches work for one year
  • Pre-program, mid-year, and final evaluations from mentor, outlining goals, progress and next steps
  • Obtain coaching demographics from CRYSC to create baseline against which future progress can be measured

Marketing and Funding

  • CRYSC and WYSC will request funding for licensing and instructor from USSF
  • Leverage any club sponsors/partners for funding
  • CRYSC to create lists of potential coaches to reach out to and encourage to apply
  • The Alliance will reach out to local college coaches for college player recruitment
  • Identify local foundations for future funding

Be on the lookout for updates on the Women’s Next Wave Coach Academy. For more information or to nominate a qualified candidate, please contact Kincaid Schmidt at [email protected].

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