In an effort to ensure that all new clubs benefit from qualified coach leadership, USA Swimming requires the following criteria for Head Coaches of new swim clubs. Coaches can meet the basic requirements in one of two ways:
(1) a combination of education and experience, or
(2) for those with no experience, a purely educational option is available.
The education requirements can be satisfied by in-person attendance at the American Swim Coaches' Association (ASCA) or USA Swimming courses, or by taking advantage of home-study options for each course.
- USA Swimming Coach Education Requirement. The coach will need the following texts to pass the first year coaches’ test: Foundations of Coaching DVD and accompanying documents, and the current USA Swimming Rules and Regulations. The revised test for new coaches is available online through USA Swimming.
- The coach must meet current safety requirements in First Aid, CPR, and Safety Training for Swim Coaches (or Lifeguard Training equivalency),
- Completion of USA Swimming Background Check and Athlete Protection Training Requirement
- Completion of the American Swim Coaches' Association Level 2 Stroke School, and completion of ASCA Level 3 Physiology School. Level 2 and Level 3 may be waived with three years experience working as an assistant in a USA Swimming member club.
Procedures to be used for obtaining ASCA Level Two and ASCA Level Three Course materials:
Coaches needing the ASCA Level Two or ASCA Level Three tests must purchase the books from ASCA at (800) 356-2722 and take the required tests through ASCA.
- When submitting the test(s) for grading, a coach must inform ASCA that they are taking the test to meet the USA New Club Membership requirement.
- Upon successful completion of the test, ASCA will mail a letter of completion to the coach.
- The ASCA office will keep the test in a physical file at the ASCA office and will maintain the information in the ASCA database.
- Existing ASCA Level Two or Three coaches need only to copy their current membership card to the local LSC registration chair.
Rulebook Requirements for all Coaches
Article 501.7: Membership Responsibility
- All clubs, including seasonal clubs, shall ensure that all athletes and coaches participating in USA Swimming sanctioned competition are members of their LSC and USA Swimming.
- All coaches of USA Swimming clubs, including seasonal clubs, shall join USA Swimming as coach members and shall satisfactorily complete safety training required by USA Swimming.
- The coach of record for a USA Swimming member club must be at least 18 years of age.
- All coaches of USA Swimming clubs, including seasonal clubs, who register for the first time as a coach member, shall complete coaches’ education required by USA Swimming prior to receiving their membership for the second year (this requirement applies to all assistant coaches of new clubs. All Head Coaches must meet the requirements outlined above).