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Thursday, December 16, 2021

USA Swimming Announces Plan for Coach Education Certification Program

USA Swimming Announces Plan for Coach Education Certification Program

USA Swimming is excited to provide our coaches with continuing education through the Coach Education Certification program. To be released in Fall 2022, this comprehensive program will allow USA Swimming coach members to fulfill their commitments to athletes by providing best-in-class experiences throughout all stages of development.  

What is the Coach Education Certification program? 

The Coach Education Certification program’s purpose is to provide coaches with access to relevant, dynamic and ongoing education. USA Swimming is committed to better educating coaches, which will increase opportunities for athletes, families and other member constituents to have a lasting, positive swimming experience. It will help create a safe, athlete-centered, and developmentally appropriate environment where our swimmers can thrive. 

The Coach Education Certification program will provide different options for certifications based on target audiences, with continuing education requirements to maintain those certifications. The program will include an online component with optional in-person opportunities for further learning and connection through mentorship and practical application.  

Where did the idea for the Coach Education Certification program come from? 

The idea behind the Coach Education Certification program came from two guiding principles: the Quality Coaching Framework, developed by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee with collaboration from its National Governing Bodies, and the American Development Model (ADM).  

Hundreds of coaches have provided their input, perspective and feedback since the beginning at every major stage. In addition, the ability for our coaches to maintain lifelong learning efforts and continuing education is important to USA Swimming. 

How does it work? 

Although there are different pathways for new and existing coaches, all coaches will start by taking the short Starting Block course. New coaches will take the Core Certification courses, and existing coaches can elect to take Core Certification, ADM – Age Group, ADM – Senior or forgo a certification and simply earn Coach Education Units (CEUs).  

View the existing coach model and the new coach model flow charts.  

Where can I find the certifications? 

When the Coach Education Certification program is launched, certifications will only be offered online. However, coaches can earn CEUs by attending clinics and workshops in-person.  

To view certifications and courses available, members must login to their USA Swimming account on the website. Courses will be hosted on the Canvas platform. 

Will all coaches be required to participate? 

Yes, the goal is for coaches to find the learning pathway which best fits their specific needs.  

Why will this be a valuable resource for coaches? 

There are numerous reasons why the Coach Education Certification program will be a valuable resource. Some highlights are the ability to: 

  • Personalize each coach experience. Some topics include: 
    • Training and technique  
    • Long-term athletic development 
    • Communication skills 
    • Coach wellness 
  • Attend in-person classes. 
  • Take courses in Spanish. 
  • Focus on a curriculum which focuses on the whole coaching experience and not just the technical side of in-water coaching.  

How have coaches been involved in the creation of this program? 

From the very beginning, coaches have been heavily involved in the creation of the Coach Education Certification program. This includes: 

  • In-depth personal Interviews of 200 coaches. 
  • Focus groups to provide feedback on mentoring, continuing education units, new coach needs and experienced coaches’ preferences in a program. 
  • Having coaches involved in the development of priorities such as scripts, curriculum, adult learning specialists, etc.  

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