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.

USA Swimming Coach Education Requirement

New coach members (those who have not taken FOC 101 and 201) will take the Starting Block courses (“Welcome to USA Swimming” and “The Quality Coaching Framework”) prior to being on deck. They must complete the Core Certification before their second year registration.


Previous coach members (those registered prior to 9/1/22 and who have completed FOC 101 and 201 or were grandfathered) need to take “The Quality Coaching Framework” once by 9/1/24, and are encouraged to take a certification.


These courses are inUSA Swimming University. Please allow 12 hours after completion for your account to update.

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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