Head Coaches of New Clubs

Requirements Checklist

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: a combination of education and experience, or for those with no experience, a purely educational option is available.

USA Swimming Coach Education Requirement
The coach must complete the online courses Foundations of Coaching 101 and Foundations of Coaching 201 as well as the online test Rules and Regulations for Coaches.

Safety Training
The coach must meet current safety requirements in CPR and Safety Training for Swim Coaches (or Lifeguard Training equivalency).

Background Check & APT

Completion of USA Swimming Background Check and Athlete Protection Training Requirement

Previous Coaching Experience

A minimum of four consecutive years of previous coaching experience with USA Swimming or other organization within the past five years to include two years’ experience as a Head Coach, Lead Coach, or the like, at the discretion of USA Swimming Sport Development Staff.


USA Swimming Coach experience is verified using the membership database. Head Coach, Lead Coach experience, or the like, will be determined during the club applicant’s one-on-one with the designated USA Swimming Sport Development staff member.


Coaches wishing to utilize experience outside of USA Swimming will also be vetted during the club applicant’s one-on-one with their designated USA Swimming Sport Development staff member. Please include experience in the designated area of the club ‘Requirement Checklist’ cover page.

Rulebook Requirements for all Coaches

Article 501.7: Membership Responsibility  

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The coach of record for a USA Swimming member club must be at least 18 years of age.

  4. 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).

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