Coach Education & Learning Program


Qualified coaches are critical to the long-term growth and success of the sport of field hockey. The education and development of coaches plays a pivotal role in ensuring sustainable athlete success from grassroots to high performance. The long-term aim is to develop more technically proficient players and teams across all levels while fostering a positive environment. 


USA Field Hockey's Coaching Education and Learning Program (CEP) has developed a blended learning approach which includes both in-person and online development opportunities aimed at supporting new coaches as well as inspire and assist veteran coaches, including those who coach professionally. CEP's goal is to provide a coach education system that supports, sustains and grows the sport by producing exceptional leaders, instructors and coaches.  


USA Field Hockey's Coach Education Pathway is aligned with the philosophy of the American Development Model (ADM) and promotes the best teaching and learning principles for age and stage appropriate development. This includes how, what and when to teach, train and play to maximize fun, enjoyment and performance of field hockey.  


USA Field Hockey's Coach Education and Learning Program provides coaches at all stages of their development with the opportunities and resources to further your coaching practice. The program consists of online and in-person courses that make up the Coaching Certification Program and an expanding collection of workshops.  


To create more consistency in the teaching and delivery of field hockey through USA Field Hockey's Coach Education Pathway, all will be exposed to "The USA Way", throughout every level from the Foundations Course to high performance. “The USA Way” is the framework that guides how USA Field Hockey thinks about the game of field hockey and in doing so it provides a vision and common language to use across the country. It is designed to provide guidance while also providing a space for individuals to become the best player that they can possibly be. Variety is the spice of life and "The USA Way" will challenge players to bring their own unique strengths to the game of field hockey.  

Coaching Clinics, Workshops & Events

 Date  Course/Event  Location  Register
 Virtual  Level 1 Program - Part 1  Online Course  Click Here
 Virtual  Level 2 Program - Part 1  Online Course  Click Here
 Virtual  Make the Save: GK Coaches Forum  Recordings  Click Here
 November 20  Defending Principles Workshop  Ann Arbor, Mich.  Click Here
 November 20  Level 1 Program - Part 2  Ann Arbor, Mich.  Click Here
 November 21   Level 1 Program - Part 2  Cary, N.C.    Click Here
 December 8, 9 & 10  National Coaches Forum  Virtual  Click Here

A new Level 1 Coaching Certification process has been developed for coaches to earn a Level 1 Certification! 


The Level 1 Program now consists of two parts, the online course and an in-person, four-hour Level 1 Instructional Coaching Clinic (separate registration process).




Level 1 Requirements: The Level 1 Online Coaching Course and Instructional Coaching Clinic Program is specifically designed for individuals that already possess a basic knowledge and understanding of the game of field hockey.

  1. All must first complete Part 1: Level 1 Online Coaching Course, then complete Part 2: Level 1 Instructional Coaching Clinic in order to receive a full Level 1 Certification.
  2. In order for a Level 1 Certification to remain active and to take advantage of special USA Field Hockey Member pricing, all registrants must be registered as a current and active Coach Member of USA Field Hockey.
  3. To get the most out of the Level 1 Instructional Coaching Clinic, USA Field Hockey requires that all registrants bring completed tasks from the Level 1 Online Coaching Course to the in-person Level 1 Instructional Coaching Clinic for self-reflection and review.
  4. Once registered, an automated email will be received with the link to access the Level 1 Online Coaching Course.

*Payment will be separate for Part 1 and 2 of the Level 1 Certification. USA Field Hockey will evaluate this process once things get back to normal.


The Level 1 Online Coaching Course and Instructional Coaching Clinic Program is specifically designed for individuals that already possess a basic knowledge and understanding of the game of field hockey. Individuals who are brand new to the sport are welcome to attend but may find it difficult as the course covers a broad range of topics in a short period of time. USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education and Learning Program recommends if an individual is just starting his/her coaching journey to take the Discover Field Hockey Foundations Course, which is currently being developed.


The game of field hockey has changed significantly over the past decade. Continual innovations have sped up the game, inspiring new tactics, techniques and rules to accommodate the faster play. Whether you coach on grass, field turf, water or sand-based turf, teaching the skills properly in a fun engaging way will enable you and your team to develop and succeed. Sign up, today!  


Level 1 Online Coaching Course Outcomes:

Through taking the Level 1 Online Coaching Course, you will: 


1.    Gain an understanding of why you coach 

2.    Develop an appreciation of effective practice design principles 

3.    Become comfortable in delivering basic skill development practices for field players and goalkeepers 

4.    Gain a basic understanding of “The USA Way” Player, Goalkeeper and Principles of Play 



  • USA Field Hockey Member: $50.00 
  • Non-USA Field Hockey Member: $85.00




Upon completion of the Level 1 Online Coaching Course, all participants will receive a certificate showing that they’ve completed the course. For the health and safety of all involved, USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education and Learning Program will likely resume the scheduling of in-person clinics in the spring of 2021 or sooner. 

USA Field Hockey is excited to announce the launch of the Level 2 Online Coaching Course. The Coach Education and Learning Team’s new Level 2 Program now consists of two parts, the Level 2 Online Coaching Course and a one-day, in-person Level 2 Instructional Coaching Clinic that expands and builds on topics covered in the Level 1 Certification Program.


The Level 2 Program will challenge participants to further define and evaluate their individual coaching philosophies, styles and techniques, while encouraging self-assessment. The program was developed by USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education and Learning Team, led by Director of Coach Education and Learning Craig Parnham, Senior Manager of Coach Education Liz Tchou, and Senior Manager of Coaching and Performance Phil Edwards. Focus throughout the USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education Pathway is on the American Development Model (ADM) and “The USA Way,” aligning all USA Field Hockey coaches with key concepts and shared vocabulary for development and growth.




Coaches are required to be Level 1 Certified in order to progress to and receive Level 2 Certification. Level 1 Certification is achieved by taking the Level 1 Online Coaching Course first, then the 4.5-hour, in-person Level 1 Instructional Coaching Clinic. Level 1 in-person clinics have resumed after a lengthy pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are interested in hosting a Level 1 Instructional Clinic, email


USA Field Hockey’s new format of online plus in-person is a blended learning approach, enabling participants to complete the online course at their own pace prior to registering to attend the in-person instructional clinic. Individuals will have the opportunity to take their learnings from the online course and practice on-field, practical delivery, as well as take advantage of an additional opportunity for professional development and local networking and mentorship. USA Field Hockey hopes that providing online learning opportunities and reducing the time and cost of the in-person course will make field hockey coach education more accessible and inclusive to all individuals. If cost is preventing you from participating in coach education, please reach out to


Coaches will work in groups to share best practices and receive peer feedback in a comfortable and encouraging environment. Upon completion of the online and one-day practical course, all participants will receive their USA Field Hockey Level 2 Coach Certification.


The Level 2 Online Coaching Course will cover a range of topics including:

  • Developing Your Coaching Philosophy 
  • Gain an Understanding of How to Develop Team Culture
  • Develop Your Ability to Design, Deliver and Review Effective Practice Games
  • Gain a Basic Understanding of How to Develop Skillful Players
  • Design and Deliver a Team Meeting
  • Explore “The USA Way” Principles of Play in More Detail Including Set Pieces and Playing Philosophy  

The Level 2 Instructional Coaching Clinic, the practical learning and application, will include: 

  • Participate in Group Presentations Covering Important Coaching Topics   
  • Apply “Games-based” Principles that include Exercise Progressions   
  • The Skills of the Game - Error Detection and Correction
  • Design Fun and Effective Training Sessions - Small Games   



Coach Education & Learning Offerings

Foundations Course more

An introductory in-person course that targets physical education programs and first exposure to coaches with little to no field hockey experience.

2020 National Goalkeeping & National Coaches Forum more

The National Coaches Forum is currently planned for the following dates, December 8, 9 and 10, and possibly one more day as the full list of speakers that will cover a variety of topics, such as leading high performance teams, developing a winning culture, tactical concepts of the game, strength and conditioning, goalkeeping, talent identification and assessment, and much more. The National Coaches Forum will also feature newly appointed U.S. National Team head coaches and staff. USA Field Hockey will offer special pricing to current USA Field Hockey Members interested in this professional development opportunity.

In addition to the National Coaches Forum, a National Goalkeeping Coaches Forum will take place in virtual format with more information to follow.

Level 1 Program & Level 2 Program more

The Level 1 Program is the first level of certification in the Coach Education Program. This newly designed, two-part program now consists of an online course and an in-person four-hour Level 1 Instructional Coaching Clinic and is recommended for all field hockey coaches of all levels.

The Level 2 Program now consists of two parts, the Level 2 Online Coaching Course and a one-day, in-person Level 2 Instructional Coaching Clinic that expands and builds on topics covered in the Level 1 Certification Program. Coaches are required to be Level 1 Certified in order to progress to and receive Level 2 Certification.

Technical Skills Workshop more

The Technical Skills Workshop is a new Coach Education offering. As the game of field hockey evolves, so do the skills required to play. This three-hour workshop is the perfect opportunity to focus on the correct teaching of the key technical skills necessary to succeed in preparation for the upcoming season. It’s also a great way to network and collaborate with fellow coaches. Coaches of all levels are welcome and will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Goalkeeping Workshop more

In addition to the Technical Skills Workshop, USA Field Hockey has added a Goalkeeping Workshop to the new workshop series. We recognize that teaching goalkeeping and developing and managing goalkeepers is a common challenge. This three-hour workshop will help coaches teach the correct goalkeeping skills and provide suggestions on working with multiple goalkeepers in a team setting. New and experienced coaches of youth, club, high school and collegiate athletes are welcome.

Goal Scoring Workshop more

The newly developed Goal Scoring Workshop is a further addition to the sport specific skills workshop series that form part of the USA Field Hockey's Coach Education Program. The Goal Scoring Workshop will identify and teach the key skills required to help coaches develop effective goal scorers. The workshop will include a variety of specific game related individual skills as well as providing practice examples that will highlight some of the tactical considerations and decisions teams and individuals are presented within the attacking circle.

Attacking Principles Workshop more

The Attacking Principle Workshop is a three hour on-field practical session designed for coaches who are looking to further develop their teams attacking play. The workshop includes key technical and tactical elements that support player and team development. Participants will learn how to create game based practice sessions that introduce, develop and transfer the attacking principles from the training ground to match day.

Defending Principles Workshop more

The Defending Principles Workshop provides coaches with the essential principles and supporting sub-principles to help build more effective defensive teams. The workshop will look at the individual technical defensive skills required and how those skills can be utilized to develop tactical decision making relating to areas such as pressing and managing counter attacks. This three hour workshop is designed to provide practical and usable technical and tactical tips to help coaches support their teams.