Clinical education is evaluated similarly. All coaching clinics should be sanctioned by the ASCA. This means that they meet specific criteria in terms of presented topics and use of appropriate speakers. If a clinic you attend is sanctioned, they will advertise "ASCA Units Available", or similar verbiage. To receive credit for attending a clinic you must complete the clinic test, and you must send in an "UPDATE FORM" listing the clinic. Clinics other than swimming clinics can also receive credit if you list them on your update form (i.e., a program on "People Skills" put on by your school district).
Education Units and Experience Units must both be present on your Certification Application. They must be in reasonable balance. (You Need BOTH.) Home Study Schools are worth a variety of units from 7 on up. Clinical schools are typically worth 10 units, depending on the instructor. What you learn in your education is the "Tool Kit" of coaching and a vital part of the overall evaluation.
Remember, one or more of the ASCA Certification Schools, either on site or by home study is required.
Career developmental coaches now have an opportunity for Level 3 and Level 4 certification. The new categories are called "Level 3 Education and Experience" and "Level 4 Education and Experience" and will appear as such on all certification cards. These categories are designed to recognize the important role that coach (who spends their career in the developmental side of our sport) plays in the overall success of the sport of swimming. This change allows truly developmental coaches the opportunity to attain Level 3 and Level 4 certifications without the required achievement criteria. Level 5 is not included in this opportunity.
There are three key requisites necessary to qualify for Level 3 Education and Experience:
is not intended for Head Coaches.
2. You must have completed the ASCA required schools through Level3 and have a total of 175 educational units in your certification file.
3. A letter from the Head Coach in support of Level 3 Education and Experience must be enclosed with the application. This letter should ascertain that the coach applying is not in a position where he/she is expected to train athletes to upper levels of performance and is expected to provide foundation coaching.
In order to qualify for Level 4 Education and Experience:
Experience gained at more than one club is acceptable; however, the letter should come from the current head coach for whom you have worked for at least 24 months.
Your Experience allows you to use your coaching "Tool Kit" to maximum advantage and is, therefore, vital to the professional.
Note: Neither education nor experience alone will get you Certified. You need to demonstrate a blend of the two.
Now, some definitions. The Coach of Record is that coach who signs the entry sheet to the meet. You must also be the "Primary Coach" of the athlete. The Primary Coach is that person who designs and actively supervises the training of the athlete on a consistent and regular basis. This allows assistant coaches, in certain specific situations, to be the Primary Coach. If you are in this category, we need a letter so stating from your Head Coach. We carefully scrutinize "Primary Coach" applications to protect the integrity of the system, and check all claims by phone calls and personal interviews. Being "Coach of Record" is not enough; you must also qualify as "Primary Coach" (It is possible to be "Primary Coach" without being "Coach of Record.")
In general, you must have coached an Age Group athlete for a period of at least six months and a Senior or Collegiate athlete for a period of at least nine consecutive months, prior to claiming that athlete for an achievement. The achievements of your athletes are one measure of the success with which you have used your coaching tool kit.
FINALLY, AS IN ALL CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, WE URGE YOU TO "STATE YOUR CASE" if you think you have an unusual situation that is not fairly represented by the process above.
Level 5 — (one of) ON USA SWIMMING INTERNATIONAL COACHES LIST. 40 High School All-Americans, 40 Prep School All-Americans, 20 YMCA All-Americans plus 3 National Champions, 20 NAIA All-Americans plus 3 NC’s, 20 NCAA D III All-Americans plus 3 NC’s, 20 NCAA II All-Americans plus 3 NC’s, 20 NCAA Division I All-Americans plus 3 NC’s, 40 Individuals with top 10 national age group rankings, plus 3 Top Ten National Champions.
Level 4 — (one of) Individual USA-Swimming National Championship Qualifier – (Summer cuts only), 10 High School or Prep School All-Americans, 5 YMCA All-Americans, 5 NAIA All-Americans, 5 NCAA I, II or III All-Americans, 20 Individuals with USA-Swimming National Age Group Top Ten Times, 20 YMCA individuals with National Age Group top Ten rankings.
Level 3 — (one of) High School or Prep School All-American. USA-Swimming Junior National Qualifier, National or YMCA Age Group top ten swimmer, NCAA I, II or III individual qualifier.
Level 2 — No Achievement Requirements, does require 6 months of coaching experience and Levels 1-2 Schools completed.
Level 1 — Completion of Level 1- Foundations of Coaching Course.
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