ERIC Identifier: ED310112
Publication Date: 1989-01-00
Author: Schweitzer, Cathie
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education Washington DC.
Coaching Certification. ERIC Digest.
This ERIC Digest will focus on coaching certification, its importance, its current status and types of certification programs currently in existence.
Any student-athlete who enters a sport program has the right to expect quality coaching and instruction. Most parents are very particular about the educator chosen to teach their children in a school classroom, yet are not similarly concerned about who coaches their youngsters in athletics. Professionals involved in athletics agree that the coach is the single most important factor affecting the athlete. Coaches have a significant impact on the lives of their young athletes and the student-athlete deserves a competent, well-trained leader. The coach is an important role model and influences values and attitudes. (Sabock, 1981)
In the 1970s the implementation of Title IX increased the number of girls' athletic teams which in turn resulted in a need for more qualified coaches. The demand for coaches nationwide dramatically exceeded the supply. (Acosta and Carpenter, 1985; Sabock, 1981)
As the need for qualified coaches increased, a declining enrollment and a depressed economy decreased the demand for classroom teachers. Concurrently, many of the teachers/coaches were retiring from coaching yet retaining their teaching positions. (Broderick, 1984)
Declining enrollment, maturing staffs, seniority systems, a declining economy, and the explosion of female participation in sports programs, all contributed to a demand for qualified coaches that exceeds the supply. Many states have had difficulty filling coaching positions, and were forced to change or make exceptions to their standards to meet coaching requirements.
But the need for qualified coaches continues, as Donna Lopiano (1986) points out:
If we agree that the competent ethical and well-trained coach is the key to the elimination of undesirable behavior for which athletics is now being criticized, it seems obvious that the better organized we are in training this individual and the more selective we are in employing a coach, the better off our athletic program will be. (p.34)
The increase in the need for coaches of women's and girls' teams has created an additional problem. Studies conducted by Acosta & Carpenter (1985) indicate that males, qualified and unqualified, dominate the coaching field. A national certification program will create better opportunities for women to gain entry-level positions and produce a better quality pool of applicants. Lopiano (1986) explains that "as long as there are no standards for access to entry-level positions in coaching, women will be denied access because they are not 'qualified' coaches. There is no standard for determining who is qualified." (p.36) Once there is a standard, women will be able to gain certification and be qualified just as men are for entry-level positions.
The National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA)
2611 Old Okeechobee Rd.
W. Palm Beach, FL 33409
Provides a National Volunteer Coach Certification Program which trains and certifies volunteer coaches.
American Coaching Effectiveness Programs (ACEP)
Champaign, IL 61820
Focuses on the critical elements of the profession of coaching geared toward the high school coach.
United States Volleyball Association
1750 E. Boulder St.
Colorado Spring, CO 80909
The USA Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP) is a four-level volleyball coaching education program. The program includes the American Coaching Education Program (ACEP).
ACEPT: American Coaching Effectiveness Training for Youth Sports, Leisure Press, Human Kinetics Press, P.O. Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820
Sports Need You, c/o Dr. Susan Schaffer, 201 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80203, (303) 866-6672
C.O.A.C.H. Project, c/o Bera Demchenko, Coordinator of Equity, School District of Philadelphia, Rm. 325, 21st and The Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 299-8806
National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations, 11724 Plaza Circle, P.O. Box 20626, Kansas City, MO 64195, (816) 464-5400
To contact an individual State Department of Education or the State Athletic Association.
It is evident that the preparation and certification of athletic coaches will continue to receive attention. A national certification program will require the combined efforts of universities, state boards of education, the national governing bodies of sports, professional organizations, and the public. Certification of coaches is no guarantee that the problems will disappear or discontinue, but the problems can be reduced substantially if coaches can be certified in programs that approach those established for the education program.
Acosta, R.V. and Carpenter, L. (1985). "Status of women in athletics: Causes and concerns." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 55(5), 38-39, 53. EJ 300682.
Broderic, R. (1984). "The certified coach: Central figure." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 53(3), 34-38.
Lopiano, D. (1986). "The certified coach: Central figure. "Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 51(9), 32-33. EJ 241455.
Noble, L. and Sigle, G. (1980). "Minimum requirements for interscholastic coaches." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 52(9), 32-33. EJ 241455.
Sabock, R.J. (1981). "Professional preparation for coaching." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 52(8), 10.
Sabock, R.J. and Chandler-Garvin, P.B. (1986). "Coaching certification: United States requirements." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 57(6), 57-59. EJ 340704.
Sisley, B. and Wiese, D.M. (1987). "Current status: Requirements for interscholastic coaches. Results of NAGWS/NASPE Coaching Certification Survey." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 58(7), 73-85. EJ 360109.