Coaches will enroll in learning pathways that will provide a multimedia learning experience. Online modules and materials will support coaches on their professional journey by providing education around
Training and technique
Long-term athlete development
Eventually, in-person classes will be offered through this program.
USA Swimming is creating a coach education program because coaches asked for it! In focus group interviews, coaches said while they are constantly learning, their education is rarely coming directly from USA Swimming. In addition, they love USA Swimming’s coaching webinars and in-person clinics, so having a professional coaching pathway through a formal program would help develop professional growth and create better service for athletes.
USA Swimming knows an investment in our coaches is an investment in our athletes. Coaches create the experience of swimming through clubs, and by providing comprehensive educational opportunities for coaches, our athletes will additionally benefit.
It is USA Swimming’s goal to get all coaches engaged in the program. The specifics about who, how, and when it happens are still being discussed.
Our Coach Education program is based on the USOPC’s Quality Coaching Framework. This holistic framework centers around three types of Essential Coaching Knowledge: Professional Knowledge, Interpersonal Knowledge, and Intrapersonal Knowledge. This framework is guided by athlete-centered outcomes and coach wellness.
A main component of USA Swimming’s Coach Education is the American Development Model for Swimming (ADM), a tool used for the long-term development of athletes. The ADM is comprised of four different progressions which can be used by the coach to help assess and develop athletes in their programs.
Staff from USA Swimming’s Sport Development and National Team divisions have been developing the program with the assistance of many coaches. This includes roughly 90 coaches who participated in initial focus groups and interviews, as well as a team of 7 non-staff coaches who helped develop and review curriculum. Lastly, USA Swimming contracted an e-learning company to build engaging video-based modules.
In the coming months, USA Swimming will engage numerous stakeholder groups as the curriculum and roll-out are finalized. It is important to gather feedback from coaches throughout all stages of development, which is why USA Swimming has continuously involved coaches in the development of this program from day 1.