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USA Triathlon’s Level I coaching certification is the first step for aspiring triathlon coaches to take. This certification will jump start their career in training athletes for the multisport program USA Triathlon has to offer. The Level I clinic is designed to educate aspiring coaches on how to train their athletes on different aspects of triathlon. Coaches will learn how to design a training plan geared toward their athlete’s needs as well as learn strength specific training for triathletes and key workouts. In addition to learning how to cater to your athletes needs, coaches will also learn the mechanics and skills of swimming, cycling and running from some of USA Triathlon’s most esteemed coaches. Coaches will not just learn how to train their athletes physically but they will also learn about nutrition periodization and mental skills, two vital aspects to master in the sport of triathlon. Once a coach receives their Level I certification, they will have the opportunity to further their education within the USA Triathlon coaching family through such certifications like Youth and Junior, Level II and even Level III. 

How to Become a Level I Coach

Prior to certification, candidate must complete and/or submit the following: 

Level I Clinic

The educational clinic requirement must be met by attending a USA Triathlon coaching certification clinic. Do not make travel arrangements based off the below times or before you are registered for a clinic as each clinic schedule varies and it is not guaranteed that you will get in. Each candidate much go through the application process which you can find when the desired clinic you would like to attend opens. The clinic is a two day lecture based clinic with opportunities to learn and network. Participants must attend the entire clinic in order to be eligible for certification. The minimum age for participation is 18. The fee is $555 which includes lunch for the two full days of the clinic and the registration fees. It does not include lodging, any travel expenses or the background check fee.

Criminal History Check

Coaching certification candidates must pass a criminal history check through the NCSI background check application in order to attend a coaching clinic and become certified. The fee is $20 for most U.S. citizens but does vary by state. International background checks cost more and vary by country. Fees for the background check are not included in the clinic registration fee. Instructions on how to complete the background check are sent to candidates following registration. Each candidate must complete and pass the required background check or entry into the clinic and certification is denied. Any candidate concerned about his or her background should complete the background check prior to registration.

Background checks are based on this criteria (PDF). A failed background check results in the candidate being ineligible for participation in a coaching clinic and certification. There is no appeal process for failed background checks. This applies to current certified coaches as well. There are no exceptions. If the candidate receives a red light and believes the red light is in error, the applicant should work with NCSI directly to resolve the matter.

Online Examination

On the final day of the clinic, attendees are given instructions on how to complete the exam. The exam is online and must be submitted within three months of the clinic date in order to become certified. The exam includes multiple choice, short answer, and training plan questions. Failure to submit materials by the deadline results in the participant becoming ineligible for certification.

Current USAT Membership

Coaching certification candidates must have a current USAT membership. If you don't have one you can either sign up online or contact Membership.

Current CPR Certification
American Red Cross or The American Heart Association certifications are preferred for first time certification. They must be in-person, online courses are not accepted. AED certifications are not required, but are highly recommended.
Signed USOC Coaching Ethics Code
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Coaching Ethics Code is distributed and discussed at the coaching certification clinic. USA Triathlon certified coaches must sign and submit the Ethics Code Agreement with the exam.

Before USA Triathlon Certified Coach certificates are sent to certification candidates, the above requirements must be met. It is highly recommended that candidates make plans to obtain or review the required items prior to the clinic.

Please note that the certification does expire. The expiration date depends on which clinic you attend. Please click here for recertification policies. Please contact the Coaching Certification Coordinator with have any questions.

2014 Level I Coaching Certification Schedule

 Date    Location  Registration Date 
January 16-17 New Orleans, La. CLOSED - FULL

February 7-8  Santa Fe, N.M.
March 6-7 St. Croix, Virgin Islands  CLOSED - FULL
March 28-29 Virginia Beach, Va.
April 11-12 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
May 9-10 Boston, Mass.
June 20 -21 Minneapolis, Minn.


July 18-19  Charleston, S.C.
August 7-8 Milwaukee, Wis.
August 15-16 Albany, N.Y. CLOSED - FULL
September 19-20 Portland, Ore.
October 7-8  Kona, HI  We have opened a LI clinic to the public in Kona, HI the week of the Ironman Championships. This clinic is on a first come, first serve basis, given you pass the required background check. The class will be from October 7 to October 8 from 7:30am to 5:00pm both days. Snacks will be provided but attendees are responsible for their own lunches. If you have any questions, please contact Meghan Quinn here. To register, click here
October 17-18 Las Vegas, Nev. CLOSED - FULL
November 14-15 Lexington, Ken.

Please view the Level I Application Process FAQs before applying.
Please view the sample coaching resume before applying. 

Wait list Policy: Everyone who submits an application on time during the application window is added to the wait list. If you missed the application deadline and want to be placed on the wait list, please email the Coaching Certification Coordinator. Please note you will be placed at the bottom of the wait list behind those that submitted an application on time. A spot only becomes available if there is a cancellation. If there is a cancellation, the first person on the wait list is contacted. That person is given a specific time by which he or she must reply. If the wait listed person does not reply by that time or does not accept the spot, the next person on the wait list is contacted. The process is repeated until the spot is filled.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellation on registration day to 8 weeks prior to the first day of the clinic: $25 Penalty
Cancellation on or after 8 weeks prior to the first day of the clinic: $50 Penalty
Cancellation on or after 6 weeks prior to the first day of the clinic: $150 Penalty
Cancellation on or after 4 weeks prior to the first day of the clinic: NO REFUNDS AND NO EXCEPTIONS