Become a Coach
How to Get U.S. Ski and Snowboard Certified
U.S. Ski and Snowboard alpine coaches education is delivered through a five level certification program for coaches. The primary purpose for coaching certification is to work stepwise through an educational program that will progressively build on the coach's prior knowledge and experience. As in developing skills in skiing, the process for becoming a better coach starts with foundational skills and moves forward into a deeper and broader understanding of all the aspects involved in alpine ski racing and coaching. Coaching education and experience go hand-in-hand. To be a great coach, one must have both. All coaches, whether working with young athletes just starting into a race program, or working with elite athletes moving onto the national teams and collegiate programs, fit within the U.S. Ski and Snowboard certification program.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard alpine coaches certification system is made up of five levels, 100-500. Coaches are encouraged to complete the Level 100 training prior to or during their first year of coaching. Level 100 and 200 together represent the foundational knowledge and skills for the alpine ski coach at any level, from youth through elite and part-time or volunteer through career coaching. Level 300 and 400 represent advanced and specialized training and knowledge geared toward lead coaches and full-time coaches. Level 500 is a special certification designation for coaches who have completed the coach education curriculum and have international experience through national team coaching.
About Level 100 Certification
The first step in the education for any coach of alpine skiing, the Level 100 coach acquires knowledge in the fundamentals of alpine skiing and learns how to teach these skills in appropriate progressions. The Level 100 coach also will have training in First Aid and CPR.
It is recommended that an alpine ski coach pursue their Level 100 certification prior to or within their first year of coaching. The content and skills acquired during the Level 100 are a necessary foundation for a ski coach of any level of experience. U.S. Ski and Snowboard recommends that all ski coaches work to obtain Level 100 certification, whether working part-time with young introductory level racers or full-time with racers at the top levels nationally.
Level 100 certification requirements:
1. Attend a Level 100 Alpine Ski Fundamentals on-snow clinic and pass the on-snow skiing evaluation (2 days)
2. Pass Alpine Ski Fundamentals on-line exam (this follows the on-snow clinic)
3. Hold current First Aid and CPR certification (must email or fax copies of certificates to U.S. Ski and Snowboard Sport Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 435.940.2790, include your U.S. Ski and Snowboard number)
Upon completion of these requirements, a coach will be recognized as a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Level 100 coach.
Current Coach Education
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Sport Education Department offers education to alpine ski coaches in the form of coaches clinics, conferences and academies, on-line courses, live web presentations, manuals and educational DVDs, and through Center of Excellence TV, a video learning center. Certified coaches are required to complete continuing education every two years in order to keep their certification status current.
Coaches clinics are conducted in person with on-snow and classroom components. They follow the U.S. Ski and Snowboard coaches certification track starting with Alpine Skiing Fundamentals and advancing to specialized training in each discipline and sport science topics related to alpine ski racing delivered at National Coaches Academies.
Several of the steps in the certification process include an on-line exam. Coaches who take an on-snow clinic will receive a code to purchase the corresponding exam at no cost, if taken within a year of the clinic. Coaches who are taking exams to finish other requirements for certification will need to purchase the exams and corresponding learning resources.