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Coaches Development Pathway


Coach Hector Toscano poses with Director of Coaching, Shane Huff.

Coaching Pathway

Coaches hold the key to growing Mendocino County Soccer Academy. High-quality coaches create high-quality experiences for kids and families. The more of those we have, the better our culture, and the better we can enroll the community in the MCSA vision. 

Like our player development pathway, our coaching pathway is a roadmap. It’s a way for new and prospective coaches to understand how they fit into the bigger picture.  

We find there are two categories of coaches:

  • Parents and grandparents of kids in our program are interested in coaching their child. They coach while their youngster is with us and then move on when the child ages out. 

  • Current/former players interested in growing their career as a coach and earning a supplemental income. 

Parent coaches want to know the basics of how to run training sessions. They want to learn how to work with parents. They want to feel supported and know they have a place to go with questions and expert advice. And, most importantly, they want to have fun spending time with their child. 

Coaches interested in a career path want to learn what it takes to become a professional coach. Along with growing their experience so they can advance in the profession, earning a part-time, seasonal income is attractive. 

To support these coaches, we’ve developed our Coaches-in-Training (CIT) program. The CIT is designed for busy people. It’s very simple with plenty of opportunities to learn while on the field. The program consists of:

  • A Classroom Session with MCSA Director of Coaching, Shane Huff

  • Field Sessions with MCSA Staff

  • Private Online Discussion Group

  • Practice Plans

  • Ongoing Support from MCSA Leadership and Staff 

This training takes place within the context of our three main programs. 

  • Grassroots Academy is an introduction to soccer by our professional staff for kids as young as four and up to twelve. We have several six-week sessions throughout the year in Ukiah, Mendocino,  and Willits. Training only, no games. 

  • Developmental Soccer League (DSL) is a league for the under 10 through under 16 age groups from teams from around the county. Volunteer coaches coach their teams with support from MCSA staff. 

  • Select Teams consist of ten teams ranging from U10 to U19, both boys and girls. These are competitive teams that travel to play other club teams from around the region.

Our CIT is the first step in our coaching pathway. In general, it looks like this: 

  • Parent Coaches - CIT - > Developmental Soccer League 

  • Career Coaches - CIT -> Grassroots -> DSL ->  Earn Coaching License -> Select Team Assistant Coach -> Select Team Coach 

Just like in our player pathway, there will be exceptions, but this is a general guideline. 

If interested in learning more, please fill out this brief form and we'll get back to you with more info!