Youth football coaches reach education and training milestone for 21st-century youth sport play 

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), announced that the non-profit's one millionth Youth Coach Certification has been completed.  

Since USA Football began certifying coaches, 1 million coach certifications have now been completed by coaches in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 15 foreign countries across six continents. 

Accredited by the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE), USA Football’s certification encompasses modules built with experts across sports, science, and child advocacy. The curriculum trains coaches in football skill development, athlete health and safety, child sex abuse prevention, transformational coaching values and more.  

USA Football’s coach certification aligns with the organization’s Football Development Model (FDM), designed to develop the whole athlete based on a child’s age and stage of development in alignment with the USOPC’s American Development Model.  

David Anico, an assistant youth football coach of seventh graders in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood (N.J.) Police Athletic League since 2017, completed USA Football’s one millionth coach certification this summer. The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Police Athletic League is part of the New Jersey Suburban Youth Football League (NJSYFL), comprised of 4,000 young athletes and families. Anico’s team kicked off its season on Sunday, Sept. 11. 

“USA Football began certifying youth coaches over a decade ago to lead, strengthen and grow football for all by providing coaches best-in-class resources and setting standards to help young athletes enjoy the community, friendships and fun of football,” said USA Football CEO and Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK. “I congratulate Coach David Anico of the New Jersey Suburban Youth Football League for completing our one millionth coach certification. 

“It’s inspiring to know that so many volunteers – mostly Moms and Dads – give of themselves by completing an accredited certification to best teach the sport and its values to children under their care. Our non-profit staff’s passionate ‘Why’ are the men, women, and children who power America’s favorite sport and make it a special part of their communities. I look forward to the next one million certifications and the positive difference this will continue to make in the lives of our children playing football.”  

“Today’s news underscores USA Football’s position at the forefront of 21st-century youth sports coach education,” said DR. GERARD GIOIA, Children’s National Hospital Neuropsychology Division Chief and Chair of USA Football’s Medical Advisory Panel. “USA Football’s delivery of forward-thinking guidelines on player safety, skill development and transformational coaching through its accredited coach certification promotes physical and mental health benefits for young athletes who love to play the sport.” 

“USA Football’s Youth Coach Certification is a comprehensive and industry-leading program that covers everything from concussion recognition and response to heat preparedness and hydration to training to prevent child sexual abuse,” said USA Football Senior Manager, Education and Training ANDY RYLAND. “I believe some of our program’s success is due to the fact that we always look for improvements and ways to educate on issues in sport. This helps coaches and community leaders be informed and prepared while showing their care and commitment to the children they oversee.”

About USA Football: USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance, unify and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school, and other amateur players. 

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