Academy Director


The Academy Director (Director of Coaching) Diploma in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches was created, in response, to the growing importance of the football club environment in offering participation opportunities and developing elite soccer players. 

The course is designed for leaders of local youth football clubs and organizations so they will further understand the importance of both the management and leadership of an organization as well as the science, theory, and applied practice associated with athlete development that the sport club can provide.

All participants receive the United Soccer Coaches Director of Coaching Diploma. 

Current DOC Course Available

No in person courses are currently planned. Please check back!

Your Dream. Our Mission.

Who Should Attend

The Academy Director (Director of Coaching) Diploma is a 21-hour course designed to address the issues confronting the Director of a Football club. It examines the technical, conceptual, leadership and administrative skills of future and current academy directors for youth clubs for the purpose of developing the football players. This is accomplished through a curriculum rich in application and theory and will focus on organizational structure, methods of coaching, leadership theory, evaluation and development of coaches and players and fiscal, legal and moral responsibility. Candidates will understand each of the individual units of the club as well as the interrelationship of those parts to achieve the specific goals and objectives of a youth football club.

The program is directed at the leaders of soccer clubs. In fact, there is great opportunities for sharing across sports in the sessions. This leadership can be in form of individuals serving as CEOs, executive directors, directors of coaching, business officers or those who serve as leaders on soccer clubs.


Course topic selections are based on the demographic of the course group and the instructors available. Here are a sample collection of topics.

Defining the Entity

Instructor: Andrew Donnery 

This unit considers all aspects of what your club (entity) is about. It covers a wide range of topics including non-profit, for profit, volunteers, paid staff, parents, long term development.

Business of Football

Instructor: Matt Robinson

What is the business of youth soccer? Is it to produce winning teams, balance a budget, pay staff well or just provide a cost effective soccer program to the community. 


Instructor: Brian McAughey

A club’s methodology should lay out in great detail all of the topics that must be taught to fully develop a player from the age of 6 to 18, in the order in which they must be taught so that they gradually build sophistication, and in the most effective manner possible.

Long Term Development

Instructor: Matt Robinson

LTPD is a development, training, competition, and recovery program for soccer players based on biological age (i.e. physical maturity) rather than chronological age. It is player-centered, coach-led, and supported by administration, sport science, and sponsors. Does your club have one? Do you need one?

Legal Issues

Instructor: Matt Robinson

A “legal issue” is simply what the court is debating, such as the definition of “night” in a specific law.  Before you get to caught, do you understand the law? Do you have policies and procedures?


Instructor: Matt Robinson

Honesty and integrity are the essential elements of ethics in youth sports. Through such ethical behavior, sports will maintain a rightful place in our lives and it can make positive contribution to society. The administrators of youth sports should ably handle the principles and practices of sports. Winning should not be the focus.

Talent Identification

Instructor: Jeff Schneider

This topic will help you understand the key principles of scouting players, the importance of relationships, the latest methods of recognizing potential and the complex governance procedures surrounding talent identification.

Consumer Behavior

Instructor: Matt Robinson

The topic will introduce you to the study of psychological, physical, and social actions when people buy, use, and dispose of products, services, ideas, and practices is known as consumer behavior. In other words, consumer behavior is the study of how people make purchasing decisions and the factors that influence or support those decisions. Why people join your club in simpler terms 🙂


Instructor: Andrew Donnery

The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) is a long-term strategy with the aim of developing more and better homegrown players in the English Premier League.

The EPPP is the result of consultation between the Premier League and its clubs, representatives of the Football League, the Football Association and other key football stakeholders. Gain in an insight to the English academy system. 

Recovery and Regeneration

Instructor: Jeff Schneider

We believe that because children and adolescents are still growing and developing, they may require more time for recovery between high-volume and high-intensity training sessions than adults. Although a day off between workouts may be sufficient for youth in recreational strength-training programs, training to improve sport performance necessitates higher levels of physical activity.


Instructor: Matt Robinson

Customer retention refers to a set of activities that a company undertakes in order to increase the number of repeat customers and the profitability of each existing customer. Customer retention strategies allow you to provide and extract more value from your current clientele.

Managing Change

Instructor: Andrew Donnery

A continuing turbulent business environment characterized by the rapidly fragmenting, information-intensive, demographically evolving, electronically wired, and individually customized global marketplace has had a significant impact on the practice of change management over the last several decades. Being a “firefighter” and reacting to change in a highly competitive environment is no longer enough.

Sports Psycholgy

Instructor: Max Trenerry

The study of how psychological factors influence sports, athletic performance, exercise, and physical activity is known as sports psychology. Sports psychologists look into how sports can improve one’s health and well-being. They also assist athletes in utilizing psychology to enhance their athletic performance and mental health.


Instructor: Matt Robinson

One fortunate – or unfortunate – side effect of having a child participate in your club is that you will meet the parents. At first glance, they appear to be pleasant enough, but as time passes and travel leagues form, the social dynamic can deteriorate to the level of the children involved. Learn how to work and create a positive environment. 

Would you hire You?

Instructor: Tess  Surprenant

Have you ever looked at your resume? Studied your interview technique? Honestly, critiqued your work and your output? Are you sellable? Learn what makes you standout. 

DOC Course Schedule

This is a schedule from one of our recent courses.

8:00 - 9:15 a.m.Methodology and Creating a Grassroots Program8:00 - 9.15 a.m.Recovery and Regeneration
9:25 - 10:40 a.m.Business of youth sports 9.15 - 10.15 p.m.Retention
10:45 - 12:00 p.m.Long Term Athlete Development10:20 - 11:30 p.m.Training Design
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.Lunch11.30 - 1pmManagement of Club Components
2.00 - 3.15 p.m.Legal & Ethical Issues
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.Registration3:15 - 4.30 p.m.EPPP
5:30 - 6:00 p.m.Introduction to the course4:30 - 6.00 p.m.Discussion
6:00 - 7:40 p.mDefining the Entity
7:50 - 9:10 p.m.Parents

meet the amazing team

The Faces Behind the Success

We Couldn’t Do It Without Them

Dr. Matt Robinson

University of Delaware

Andrew Donnery


Max Terrenery

Mayo Clinic

Tess Surprenant

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Ian Barker

United Soccer Coaches

Sara McQuade

E.T.C Coaching Consultants

Brian McAughey

Phoenix Soccer

Mark MacKain

All-In FC

Jeff Schneider

University of Delaware

Vince Ganzberg

United Soccer Coaches

Neil Hull

United Soccer Coaches

Allison Pronske

United Soccer Coaches

Meet Our Wide Range of Sports

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All Sport Leaders contributing to development and increased participation

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