Next Wave Coach Academy

Next Wave Coach Academy

Posted by: Kincaid Schmidt | 11U/12U Girls Director of Coaching

Of the approximately 4.1 million youth sport coaches in America, only an estimated 650,000 are women. This leaves a void for women role models across youth sports. A recent study in the journal Gender & Society found an even wider gender disparity: only 13.4% of American Youth Soccer Association coaches are women.

A lack of exposure to women in leadership roles makes a lasting impression on both girls and boys. Sport is one of the world’s most powerful social institutions and remains an important platform for shaping the perceptions and expectations of young people.  While the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club is currently ahead of the industry average (23% of full-time, part-time and volunteer coaches at the club are female), the vision of the club is to become known as an industry-leader in the engagement of women as coaches.

Broadly, our objective is to increase the quantity and quality of female coaches working in the Rapids organization. To that end we must remove barriers to educational opportunities; connect women with experienced mentors to help them refine their craft; and provide women with a network of professionals to support them in their work as coaches.

In partnership with the Alliance of Women Coaches, the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club will engage the “next wave” of women coaches by creating an environment where women are encouraged to coach and provided a pathway tailored to each individual. The Next Wave Coach Academy will take place in three phases.

Phase One will consist of a sport-specific licensing weekend to take place at The Eddy. New coaches will learn the basics of coaching soccer, including how to plan and execute a training session based on the club’s methodology. This licensing weekend will be a combination of classroom and field sessions hosted at The Eddy. Each coach will then be assigned a coaching role for the Spring 2018 season based on her individual interest and experience and paired with a mentor. Phase Two will require the coach and her mentor to meet three times over the course of a season to set goals and track progress. Phase Three will include a second professional development weekend during the Summer of 2018 led by the Alliance of Women Coaches, Rapids Youth Club staff, and Rapids Development Academy staff. Content will be focused on developing leadership and management skills to help female coaches be effective leaders outside of the sport-specific realm.

The Next Wave Coach Academy will kick-off in March 2018. For more information or to nominate a qualified candidate, please contact Kincaid Schmidt at [email protected].

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