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USA Triathlon’s Level III Coaching Certification Program is designed to select and develop elite international caliber coaches capable of delivering the highest standard of practical athlete development expertise. The program gives prospective candidates the opportunity to develop more specialized practical coaching skills, performance planning, analysis, and organizational techniques through learning exercises and interactions with the Sport Development Staff of USA Triathlon and the United States Olympic Committee. The Level III Certification is highly selective, and candidates must satisfy the following prerequisites to be considered.

Level III Coach Applicant Requirements

Prior to applying for the Level III clinic, candidates must complete and/or submit the following:

  • Current CPR/AED Certification
  • Online Background Check
  • Current USA Triathlon Membership
  • Athlete Letter of Recommendation
  • Mentor Coach Letter of Recommendation
  • Current Level II Coach (in good standing for at least 12 months prior to the Level III clinic)
  • The applicant must have completed the USAT Elite Mentorship Program between January 1, 2007 and the current application deadline.
  • The applicant must have documentation that he or she is the primary coach of an athlete at the highest level of competition within the athlete's division based on the following criteria: 
      - Elite National Team
      - Project 2016 or 2020 Team
      - Top 15 finish at U23 World Championships
      - Top 15 finish at Junior World Championships. 
      - Ranked in the top 75 of the ITU rankings by the end of the previous year.
      - USA Paratriathlon National Team (2014 and later)
      - Coaching oneself does not qualify.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that he or she developed the athlete to the above mentioned level.
  • The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of progression by stating two to three objectives for an elite athlete, explaining what was done as a coach to address those objectives and the results that were accomplished with that athlete.
  • The applicant must submit an ATP based on a standard provided form of one elite level athlete that he or she directly coaches as part of the application process within seven days upon acceptance into the clinic. This is reviewed by USAT Sport Development staff within two weeks and sent back to the applicant with suggestions.
  • The applicant must hold at least one additional current certification from the following sport organizations: USA Cycling Level I or Level II, USA Swimming/American Swimming Coaches Association, USA Track and Field, American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, or National Academy of Sports Medicine.
  • Selected candidates complete a phone interview as part of the application process. 

A USAT Level III Coach understands and applies the following concepts while working with athletes:  

  • Advanced periodization and planning including program implementation, progression, lab and field testing and recovery methods.
  • Swim stroke analysis, run gait analysis, bike fit and analysis
  • Functional strength training and dynamic warmup
  • Advanced nutritional and mental skills strategies
  • ITU qualifications and rules
  • Race strategies

Clinic Procedures

Acceptance into or passing of the Level III clinic is not guaranteed. There is a checklist that is used to score each candidate on the ATP presentation and on the final paper project. The final paper project is assigned at the clinic and candidates have three months from the clinic date to complete it. Once the paper is submitted, the candidate then presents the final paper via phone or Skype to the Coach Development Senior Manager. Only after all of the above requirements are satisfactorily met with an 80% or higher will a candidate be considered passed through the LIII clinic.

Please contact the Coach Development Senior Manager if you have any questions.

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

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