Coaches Education Program

About the AFCA Coaches Education Program

The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the American Football Coaches Foundation (AFCF) have partnered with Michigan State University (MSU) and the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) to offer AFCA coaches the opportunity to participate in online professional development courses for continuing education units (CEUs) through the AFCA Coaches Education Program.

“The American Football Coaches Foundation joins AFCA, Michigan State University, and the American Sport Education Program in an exciting opportunity for football coaches to advance their ability, skills, and knowledge,” says AFCA executive director Grant Teaff. “Training and developing the young people they work with will be enhanced through the continuing education courses offered through ASEP.”

Coaches Earn CEUs from Michigan State University

Through the program, coaches can take the ASEP online courses Coaching Principles and Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills and earn MSU College of Education continuing education units (CEUs) and Michigan Department of Education CEUs. The courses offer coaches anytime-anywhere convenience for furthering professional development, satisfying recertification requirements, or earning credit toward teaching certification.

“ASEP and our parent organization Human Kinetics are proud of our affiliation with the American Football Coaches Association and especially of this new coaching education initiative,” says ASEP executive director Jim Schmutz. “Over the years, we've collaborated on a number of projects, including ASEP's Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills book and online course, and this program takes our relationship to an exciting new level not only for our organizations but also for the college and high school coaches who stand to benefit from these courses.”

AFCA Members Save

Through the program, AFCA members receive $55 off the price of MSU Coaching Principles and $50 off the price of the MSU Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills online course.

To receive your discount, visit the members-only section of the AFCA Web site to retrieve the course discount code. Enter the code in the promo code field when making your purchase at www.HumanKinetics.com/Continuing-Education-for-Coaches.

These savings alone nearly cover AFCA membership dues. If you're not currently a member of AFCA, join today and take advantage of these course discounts!

ASEP Courses Available through the Program

Below is a listing of courses available through the program, including course descriptions, prices, and CEUs.

Please note: The course title links below take you to the Web site of Human Kinetics, where you'll purchase and take your online courses. If you are an AFCA member, prior to purchasing your courses be sure to access the course discount codes available through the members-only section of the AFCA Web site. Enter the code at checkout to receive your course discount!

Check back here for information on course availability.

Coach training beyond the Xs and Os

Coaching Principles is the flagship course of the American Sport Education Program (ASEP). Drawing from the text Successful Coaching, written by ASEP founder Rainer Martens, Coaching Principles provides coaches with essential instruction on the principles of coaching, behavior, teaching, physical training, and management. Coaching Principles features sections on coaching for character, coaching diverse athletes, managing problem behaviors in athletes, battling drugs in sports, and teaching the games approach to coaching. Coaching Principles provides the underpinnings of being a successful coach-beyond the Xs and Os.


Through this course, coaches are challenged to do the following:

  • Identify your coaching philosophy, objectives, and style; coach for character and coach diverse athletes (units 1 to 5).
  • Communicate with and motivate your athletes, and manage their behavior (units 6 to 8).
  • Coach using the games approach, and teach technical and tactical skills (units 9 to 12).
  • Train your athletes for energy and muscular fitness, fuel your athletes, and battle drug use (units 13 to 17).
  • Manage your team, relationships, and risk (units 18 to 20).

MSU Coaching Principles
ISBN: 978-0-7360-9811-3
Price: $375.00
AFCA member price: $320.00 Access course discount code
CEUs: 4.0

MSU Coaching Principles earns coaches 4.0 CEUs from MSU and the Michigan Department of Education. In order for you to be awarded the CEUs, you must verify that you expended a minimum of 40 hours (which includes required reading) to complete the course.

MSU follows CEU guidelines developed by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) in awarding CEUs. Given that each state board has different requirements for teacher licensure, certification, and CEU courses, we encourage you to check with your state Department of Education to ensure CEUs from MSU and the Michigan Department of Education are accepted by your organization.

AFCA Coaching Principles
ISBN: 978-0-7360-7733-0
Price: $60.00
No CEUs awarded for this version of course

A coach's guide to the care and prevention of injuries

Unlike general first aid courses offered by local organizations, ASEP Sport First Aid specifically addresses conditions coaches encounter on the playing field. Newly revised and updated, this fourth edition provides students with clear guidelines on what's expected of them as first responders, as well as action steps for the care and prevention of more than 110 athletic injuries and illnesses.

The course is based on Sport First Aid, Fourth Edition, a 320-page text written by Melinda Flegel, and covers protocols for conducting emergency action steps and providing life support; conducting the physical assessment; administering first aid for bleeding, tissue damage, and unstable injuries; moving an injured athlete; and returning athletes to play. Revisions reflect the latest research and best practices from the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute.

Guidelines for using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich maneuver, and automated external defibrillators (AED) have been updated. The course also covers the latest information on controlling bleeding, treating concussions, and preventing and recognizing methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections (MRSA). Strategies for greatly reducing athletes' risk of injury or illness are also featured.

A revised and expanded section on anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs assists coaches in recognizing the effects of performance enhancers and in educating their athletes on the dangers of steroid use.

Sport First Aid is a potentially life-saving resource that coaches can rely on to make smart decisions when encountering emergency situations with athletes.

MSU Sport First Aid (Not yet available)
ISBN: 978-0-7360-9813-7
Price: $330.00
AFCA member price: $280.00
CEUs: 3.5

MSU Sport First Aid earns coaches 3.5 CEUs from MSU and the Michigan Department of Education. In order for you to be awarded the CEUs, you must verify that you expended a minimum of 35 hours (which includes required reading) to complete the course.

MSU follows CEU guidelines developed by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) in awarding CEUs. Given that each state board has different requirements for teacher licensure, certification, and CEU courses, we encourage you to check with your state Department of Education to ensure CEUs from MSU and the Michigan Department of Education are accepted by your organization.

AFCA Sport First Aid
ISBN: 978-0-7360-8090-3
Price: $50.00
No CEUs awarded for this version of course

Take your training to the field

The American Sport Education Program (ASEP) brings the gridiron to the desktop with Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills online course. The course draws content from the book Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills written by ASEP in conjunction with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Rob Ash, head football coach at Montana State University. Coach Ash also served as a content expert for the online course.

The course is designed to help coaches learn how to teach the technical and tactical skills of football. In this course you will learn how to

  • explain the relationship and difference between technical and tactical skills, and describe the traditional and games approaches to football practice (unit 1);
  • evaluate technical and tactical football skills in your players, and make use of your evaluation results (unit 2);
  • prepare effective season plans and individual practice plans (units 3 and 4);
  • prepare far in advance for the season and each game (unit 5);
  • apply and teach the basic and intermediate offensive, defensive and special teams technical and tactical skills needed for your team’s success (game units);
  • incorporate key focal points and error detection and correction principles into your coaching (game units); and
  • recognize various signals given by officials during the game (signals unit).

As coaches progress through the course, they are asked to read portions of the Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills book and view video clips housed on CD-ROM to complete course units. Coaches will learn about different approaches to coaching, including the games approach (an alternative to drills-based coaching), develop a season plan and a series of practice plans, and improve their ability to coach during games.

The course is heavy on skill demonstration and error detection and correction. Through a partnership with Dartfish, ASEP has incorporated aspects of the Dartish video technology into the course. Coaches can break down football technical and tactical skills by viewing Dartfish football media books that allow users to view video frame by frame.

The course concludes with The Big Game, an interactive exercise designed to simulate game situations. Coaches are taken through game sequencesspecial teams, offense, and defense-illustrating techniques and tactics stressed throughout the course. Coaches view video clips as they progress through the exercise to enhance the concepts being taught.

Other features include Coaching Aids, a storehouse of printable PDF documents that are incorporated throughout the course. These include practice plans, sport first aid checklists, and drill sheets. Coaches have access to the clipboard even after they've completed the course for up to one year. The course also features a separate section devoted to football officiating signals.

After completing the course units, coaches take the 40-question course test online and receive immediate results.

MSU Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills
ISBN: 978-0-7360-9817-5
Price: $330.00
AFCA member price: $280.00 Access course discount code
CEUs: 3.5

MSU Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills earns coaches 3.5 CEUs from MSU and the Michigan Department of Education. In order for you to be awarded the CEUs, you must verify that you expended a minimum of 35 hours (which includes required reading) to complete the course.

MSU follows CEU guidelines developed by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) in awarding CEUs. Given that each state board has different requirements for teacher licensure, certification, and CEU courses, we encourage you to check with your state Department of Education to ensure CEUs from MSU and the Michigan Department of Education are accepted by your organization.

AFCA Coaching Football Technical and Tactical Skills
ISBN: 978-0-7360-7735-4
Price: $49.95
No CEUs awarded for this version of course

AFCA Coaching Orientation

AFCA Coaching Orientation is a new online course from ASEP gleaning material from the ASEP Coaching Principles, Sport First Aid, and Coaching [Sport] Technical and Tactical Skills courses. Coaching Orientation provides up-and-coming football coaches with the essentials to step on the field for the first time. Clocking in at six hours, Coaching Orientation features considerably less content than Coaching Principles, but its interactive exercises, engaging graphics, poignant video vignettes, and quick pace form a course that’s informative, eye-opening, and enjoyable and will whet your coaches’ appetites for more advanced coaching education.

Comparable to other nationally recognized and approved courses for credentialing high school coaches, Coaching Orientation is also ideal for training middle and elementary school coaches. As a decision maker for your association, school district, or school, consider adopting Coaching Orientation for training coaches in your elementary and middle school programs too.

Coaching Orientation is also a perfect solution for recertifying coaches. Even the most seasoned coach can use a refresher from time to time, and this course serves that purpose conveniently and cost effectively.

After completing this course, coaches should be able to do the following:

  • Start to develop a personal coaching philosophy and coaching objectives.
  • Recognize a coach’s role in helping players develop good character.
  • Evaluate and improve communication skills.
  • Describe how to build team chemistry and manage athletes’ behavior using positive discipline and team rules.
  • Recognize how to work effectively with administrators, officials, parents, and the media.
  • Recognize what motivates high school athletes, and explain how to integrate this knowledge with innovative approaches to learning in order to be an effective teacher.
  • Create plans for teaching technical and tactical skills, and describe how to teach and practice these skills.
  • Identify educational resources for learning about and keeping abreast of sport-specific skills and the latest technological advances in a sport.
  • Recognize legal responsibilities related to managing risk.
  • Explain responsibilities for ensuring the safety of athletes, including working with other members of the athletic health care team, handling medical and weather emergencies, providing safe athletic facilities and equipment, and coordinating physical exams and medical records.
  • Recognize a coach’s role in promoting physical fitness with athletes.
  • Develop instructional plans for the season and for individual practices.

AFCA Coaching Orientation
ISBN: 978-0-7360-9996-7
Price: $22.95
No CEUs awarded for this version of course

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