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What's the difference between coaches?(2 posts)

What's the difference between coaches?JohnIV
Sep 24, 2002 10:16 AM
I had a question about the difference in training ability between a USCF club coach, or an elite coach? How much would I pay per month for each? Is the difference in cost worth it? For the most part, are USCF licensed coaches better than guys that aren't? I have pretty much decided on a coach, and I want the best performance out of myself as possible. Would I benefit from a coach that is local, or does it really matter? Thanks for your help.
some answerslonefrontranger
Sep 24, 2002 11:14 AM
I took out a Sport Coach license back in '97 (before the name was changed to "Club" coach). The Club coach license means you've at least read through a book of rules and coaching practices and are with it enough to complete, mail in, and pass an open book written test. In my case I (and quite a few others in the local Sport Coach program) also sat in on free monthly study groups given by a Cat III USCF official and a sports science professor who was a local racer. I thought that the seminars were the most beneficial part, but that's not mandatory or even all that common. I'd say the written test is about as difficult as passing a U.S. drivers' license exam. The reason I took out a license was to add some legitimacy to my program and (most important since I was working with juniors a lot) qualify for liability insurance with the USCF. The Feds also provided a lot of the paperwork & contractual stuff I needed.

The Elite coach must first pass at the club level, and I think there's also a waiting period before they are allowed to move on to Elite (i.e. they must coach for a minimum period at Club level). Then in addition to that, they must take a 2-day (I think) seminar in CO Springs, and pass both oral and written exams given by USCF Cat I officials.

With all that being said, there's nothing wrong with working through a local "mentor" (i.e. someone with experience but no certification). A lot of my best advice came from experienced mentoring. Only you can decide what works best, and the simple act of owning a piece of paper from the Feds doesn't necessarily mean someone is capable of being a good coach.