National “D” License Course Information

The National D course is a 36 to 40-hour course, typically held over two weekends, 10 weeks apart, designed for the experienced coach who has already earned a National E license. The focus of this course is to improve a coach’s ability to positively influence individual players and teams. The course consists of a series of lectures and field sessions, and attendance is mandatory for the full duration of all course meetings.


The National D course is open to all applicants who have held a U.S. Soccer National “E” license for a minimum of 6-months and who are at least 16 years of age.

Initial Assignments

Course work for the National D course will be completed in the Digital Coaching Center (DCC). Before the first course meeting, candidates must complete the following assignments:

  • Laws of the Game
  • Prevention and Care / Concussion Awareness
  • Deliberate Practice (training sessions and self-reflection)

Target Outcomes

  • Develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach the 13-14 year old athlete and team
  • Understand the characteristics and needs of an athlete in the Intermediate Stage of U.S. Soccer’s Long Term Athlete Development Model
  • Teach the Principles of Play in a training environment
  • Apply the principles of play to functional group roles in a full team system
  • Plan a sequence of training and weekly cycles to complete a season plan

The “D” license course is broken into four phases:

  • Preparation Phase – candidates are required to complete all initial assignments and submit them to their instructors by a specified deadline
  • Instructional Phase– candidates meet face-to-face with instructors at a course (meeting 1)
  • Development Phase– candidates are required to conduct further training sessions over a minimum of 10 weeks
  • Performance Review Phase– final on-field exam (meeting 2)