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The Best Soccer Convention in America – NSCAA 2014

Blog Image 2014 NSCAA Collage

What is the NSCAA ?

The NSCAA stands for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The NSCAA is one of the two predominant national bodies that train soccer coaches. The other is the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The NSCAA has been around since 1941 and aims to “Inspire coaches and ignite their passion for the game so they pass it on to players and others in the soccer community.” They focus on developing coaches and the game around their core values: “Learn. Participate. Belong.” The NSCAA now has over 30,000 coaches among it’s ranks. To learn more about the history of the NSCAA visit their site.

Liza and I (Eric) go each year to their national convention to meet other youth coaches and camp professionals. This year we brought along two other Berkygirls: Everett and Becca!

What is the NSCAA Convention

The convention is the largest collection of soccer coaches in the country. Trainers, volunteers, and full-time coaches from every level come together at the convention. There are sub-groups for those that work in youth, high school, college and adult soccer. There are also sub-committees and other special interest groups to promote inclusion and diversity among the coaching community. Since we are a girls soccer camp and we are mostly interested in connecting with other female coaches Liza and Becca went to a lot of events organized by the NSCAA Women’s Committee. The committee provides resources and guidance to young female emerging professionals to keep them in coaching.

Coaches Education

The main attraction at NSCAA conventions is the variety of professional development for coaches. The NSCAA brings in some of the world’s best clinicians, coaches and trainers to share their knowledge and research with the coaches. The list of presenters includes UEFA Champions League coaches, the best College coaches and youth professionals. Emerging trends in the game are always addressed at the convention. Concussion awareness and solutions has been a popular in the past few years. There are also a variety of educational sessions for coaches to learn about mental skills, nutrition and of course the technical and tactical sides of the game.

Youth Soccer at NSCAA

At the convention all of the coaches love to see the best and newest soccer products, apparel and experiences available. This is where we come in! We bring our Berkshire tent and displays to the exhibit hall at the convention. We meet with a lot of youth soccer coaches from across the globe. We learn about them and they learn about us. We actually met and hired BerkyCoach Marcia “Ma” at the 2013 convention.

Inside the exhibit hall there are A LOT of exhibitors showing off their stuff. The guys in the booth next to us were from Titin Tech and they make weight vests for training that are also compression shirts and shorts. How could Becca resist trying one on? You’re right, she couldn’t.

NSCAA Becca Titin

Berky Business at NSCAA

One of the things that we do at the NSCAA convention is meet with the vendors that help make the Academy work. We meet with our apparel provider Eurosport/Soccer.com to select the items we want them to produce for the BSA Store. We also met with the team that produces our soccer balls at Bounce Athletics. We saw a couple of mock-ups of different types of balls that we might get for this summer.

We also had a raffle at our booth in the exhibit hall where anyone could guess how many hershey kisses were in a big glass jar. The girl in the picture above with Liza and me was the winner! She came to the convention with the rest of her Pennslyvania ODP team as “Demo players” to be coached during one of the field sessions. However, she left with an autographed ball signed by our visiting pro Heather O’Reilly.

We LOVE seeing our BerkyCoaches out in the world. This year we came across Jeff “Jefferina” Katz, Becca and Miranda among others.

NSCAA 2014 Header image

Bonus Pic:

Checkout this picture from last year Liza and Crazy Coach Kate!