A complete and detailed summary of the USATF Coaches Education program and coaching schools is available at www.usatf.org.
We recommend that you check out that site if you are involved with coaching.
The USATF Coaching Education program provides educational opportunities for all levels of coaches, from grass roots to the elite level. The program is comprised of three progressional levels.
- Level 1 presents a basic knowledge course in 21 hours over 2 1/2 days that emphasizes rules, basic sport science, and teaching progressions through classroom as well as hands-on training. After the school, participants complete an online exam
Multiple Level 1 schools are offered each year around the country.
- As of 2015, Level I certification may now be renewable every four years to match the Olympic cycle. To open the new recertification, a “grandfather clause” will be offered from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2020. A Level I coach who fails to recertify through the 2020 Olympic quadrennium as of 12/31/2016 will be removed from the USATF coach certification database.
To retain Level I certification, a coach who received the Level I prior to 1/1/2013 and has not obtained Level 2 Certification must meet new certification guidelines. The new recertifciation process can be found at the National website
- Level 2 is two parts, both five days in length. Part one, which needs to be completed just once, covers Training Theory, Sports Psychology, Physiology, and Biomechanics.
Part two focuses on specific groups – Sprints/Hurdles/Relays, Endurance, Jumps, Throws, and Combined Events There are pre-requisites to take Level 2, and Level 2 schools may be taken multiple times to learn more than one event group. Currently, only one Level II is offered a year in the US.
- Level 3 courses are high-level seminar structure educational experience in specific event areas.
Level 3 podium presentations are offered at various times of the year.
The new Youth Level 2 school was introduced in 2010. It is a 5 day school focusing on the unique training required for elite youth athletes. It prepares coaches to train youth athletes for high level competition while adhering to the sound principles of growth and development of the youth athlete. Event specific training in the four broad event groups, and emphasis on outreach and talent identification, growth and development, nutrition, and sport psychology and ethics. It is not offered every year.
Youth Club Coaches Background Checks
USATF has, like all youth sports organizations, implemented a required online Background Screening for all Coaches and Volunteers in clubs with members 17 years old and younger.
Click here for more information about the screening process (recommended reading!).
The check is done online though TClogiQ. Click here to begin the background screening process.
Clubs not complying with having coaches obtain a background check may not be eligible for club practice insurance and other club benefits. “Coach” credentials at major USATF meets will not be issued to individual lacking a completed background check.
Specific questions about the online Background Screening program should be directed to TCLogiq or the USATF national office.
Articles of Interest – The Basics
- 5 Basic Guidelines for Pole Vaulting from USA Vault Summit
- Race Walk Teaching Progression by Gary Westerfield, Walk USA
For information on coaching in USATF-CT please click here.