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The cost of education

I set out a personal goal of achieving the 'A' license by the time I was 30. I thought it was the pinnacle of coaching and the master achievement, but I have realized that it is really only the start of this journey. Soccer has evolved so much that a license is one small part of it - from the 'old days' when an 'A' license meant 'everything' (although that might just be me placing the license and holders on a pedestal...). There is so much you can do off of the field to improve yourself and your environment, regardless of holding a grassroots '7v7' license or an 'A' license and that is my biggest takeaway from this past two years.

So, I'm 31 now and my final assessment is in January. I owe it to myself to not be 'complete' after that and continuously evolve to keep with the pace of the changing landscape of the youth game (my environment) and the youth player. I'm not 'sad' at not achieving the license in my 30th year and in fact, I'm better for it. Another year of experience to take into any environment? Yes please, and I encourage you to do to the same. Be patient, ask questions, find a mentor, and challenge the environment you are in, regardless of your license title.

It's been an incredible ride over the last two years from B to A license. It's been a lot, as you will see below, but 100% worth it. Which brings me onto my final point - the ask of a coach to complete further education is often unreasonable and could be considered elitist. It requires lots of hours and $$$'s that often only a select few coaches can afford or can commit to - let alone being lucky enough to have the support (time away and $$$) of their family and club/school to take the class. This is why I have condensed my last two years of personal development into a bitesize online course you can register for, and take for 1% of the cost and at your own speed. You can find more information at the bottom, or right here.

So, here is an overview of my last two years in education...

🅱️ License.


- $3,000 admission

- $1,800 total in flights +/-

- 3 trips - $600 per round trip flights from OAK.

- $300 +/- in social fees

- How else do you get to know people better than having a beer and eating KC BBQ?

- 148 in-person hours at NDC

- 2 full weeks from 8am-10pm Monday-Thursday

- 4 hours Sunday and Friday

- 20 hours in-person for final assessment

- 3 day visit for testing / course wrap up


- 30 hours for assignments

- 2 hours per assignment +/-

-Including filming, interviewing, clipping, editing, notes/typing for essays

🅰️ License.


- $4,000 admission

- $1,800 total in flights +/-

- 3 trips - $600 per round trip flights to MCI from OAK

- $300 +/- in social fees

- 192 in-person hours at NDC

- 3 full weeks from 8am-10pm Monday-Thursday

- 4 hours each Sunday and Friday

- 4 hours for final assessment

- Interview, coaching a training session, and coaching a game with instructor present


- 40 hours for assignments

- 2 hours per assignment +/-

Quick maths. $11k+. 400+ hours.

Not included - Missing quality time with my wife. Cost to pay for coach coverage. Hours to reschedule conflicted games, due to travel. Hours from my SF Youth Soccer job. Hours for travel to the airport / flights / layovers. Uber from airport to NDC. Airport Coffee. A new beanie for the freezing cold KC November.

I really encourage you to get on to, or continue along, the coaching pathway. I know it isn't always possible if you even just consider the list above, but experiential learning is invaluable. You can always learn from others, which is why I created the Case Study : Self course to provide you with an insight into the higher levels of coach licensing and because the tasks require you to challenge yourself, which isn't easy to do. If we're coaching players to be better, we should be coaching ourselves to be better too - this should be your step 1.

Final note. A thank you list to everyone who had a significant impact on me in the last two years, and in particular:

My wife, Jessica

Everyone at SF Youth Soccer

Erica and Scott for being AWESOME assistant coaches

Dean Wurzburger - 'B' license instructor (And 'C' 5 years ago in TX)

John Ellinger - 'A' license instructor

Andrew and Randy for the car rides and BBQ introduction

Jeremiah, for continuing the BBQ tradition with me

Taylar, Crouchy, and Barry for the car rides

Andrew and Dave for being awesome roommates

Ellingers Army and Route 1 FC Bangers team mates and the countless hours together


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