Next Wave Coach Academy

Of the approximately 4.1 million youth sport coaches in America, only an estimated 650,000 are women. This leaves a void for women role models across youth sports. A recent study in the journal Gender & Society found an even wider gender disparity: only 13.4% of American Youth Soccer Association coaches are women.

A lack of exposure to women in leadership roles makes a lasting impression on both girls and boys. Sport is one of the world’s most powerful social institutions and remains an important platform for shaping the perceptions and expectations of young people.

In partnership with the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club, WeCOACH launched a pilot program in Summer WeCOACH logo2018 that engages the “next wave” of women coaches by creating an environment where women are encouraged to coach and provided a pathway tailored to each individual. We must remove barriers to educational opportunities; connect women with experienced mentors to help them refine their craft; and provide women with a network of professionals to support them in their work as coaches.

Our objective is to create a replicable and scalable program that will increase the quantity and quality of female coaches working in youth sports.

The Next Wave Coach Academy takes place in three phases:

  • Phase One will consist of a sport-specific licensing weekend to take place in July 2018. New coaches will learn the basics of coaching soccer, including how to plan and execute a training session based on the club’s methodology. This licensing weekend will be a combination of classroom and field sessions. Each coach will then be assigned a coaching role for the Fall 2018 season based on her individual interest and experience and paired with a mentor.
  • Phase Two will require the coach and her mentor to meet three times over the course of a season to set goals and track progress.
  • Phase Three will include a second professional development weekend during the season led by WeCOACH, Rapids Youth Club staff, and Rapids Development Academy staff. Content will be focused on developing leadership and management skills to help female coaches be effective leaders outside of the sport-specific realm.

To find out how to bring Next Wave to your organization or for more information, please contact Marci Kornegay at