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.

Application Available Date
November 3-4, 2019 Colorado Springs, CO
Applications are now open. For more information please contact

The clinic fee is $655 and includes snacks and lunches. It does not include lodging, any travel expenses, or the background check fee.

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 (Criteria)
  • Online SafeSport Training
  • Current USA Triathlon Membership
  • Athlete Letter of Recommendation
  • Mentor Coach Letter of Recommendation
  • Current Level II or Level II Endurance Certified Coach (in good standing for at least 12 months prior to the Level III clinic)
  • A minimum of 5 years as a USA Triathlon Certified Coach
  • The applicant must have completed the USAT Elite Mentorship Program in 2007 or later or the Scottsdale DL Immersion program in 2014 or later
  • The applicant must have documentation that he/she is the primary coach of an athlete at the highest level of competition within the athlete’s division based on one the following criteria:
    • USAT Elite National Team-Gold, Silver or Bronze level 2013 or later
    • USA Paratriathlon National Team (2014 or later)
    • ITU Long Course Worlds- Top 10 finish as an Elite (2013 or later) by gender
    • ITU Long Course Worlds- Top 5 overall finish as an amateur  within the amateur division (2013 or later) by gender
    • Ironman World Championships in Kona-Top 15 finish as a Pro (2013 or later) by gender
    • Ironman World Championships in Kona-Top 10 overall amateur finish (2013 or later) by gender
    • Note: Coaching oneself does not qualify
  • The applicant must demonstrate that he or she developed the athlete to the above mentioned level by providing an outline of the athletes and coaches history of working together.
  • The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of progression by stating two to three objectives for their athlete who meets the above criteria, 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 of the above athlete the he or she directly coaches as part of the application process.
  • 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 the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
  • Selected candidates complete a phone interview as part of the application process. Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the clinic.

A USAT Level III Certified 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 warm-up
  • Advanced nutritional and mental skills strategies
  • ITU qualifications and rules
  • Ironman World Championships and/or Long Course qualifications and rules
  • Race strategies
  • Daily Training Environment (if applicable)

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 Coaching Education Specialty 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 Coaching Education Specialty 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

Level III Recertification Procedure 

Certified coaches must recertify every two years to remain informed on the latest information and expertise within triathlon. This process helps coaches continue to challenge themselves and further their knowledge to best serve their athletes. The recertification program also provides support to help cultivate the growing sport of triathlon, as well as USA Triathlon coaching programs. USA Triathlon’s recertification process consists of meeting specified criteria as well as submitting an online recertification application.

In order to recertify as a Level III Certified Coach, coaches must complete:

  • $95 Recertification Fee
  • Online Background Check 
  • Current USA Triathlon Annual Membership
  • Online SafeSport Training 
  • Service to the Sport Documentation
  • 20 Continuing Education Units - 5 must be USAT Approved
  • CPR (Initial CPR certification must be completed in-person. CPR recertification can be completed online or in-person.)
  • Signed Ethics Code Agreement

Additionally, all Level III coaches must select three of the following six options for recertification:

  • Present a Webinar (unpaid)
  • Contribute a Newsletter Article for Performance Coaching (unpaid)
  • Host a CEU Clinic (paid)
  • Present at a Coaching Clinic (paid)
  • Help with a Junior Camp or Clinic (paid or unpaid)
  • Propose Your Own (must be approved by the Coaching Education Specialty Manager)

For all recertification information, please see the USA Triathlon Recertification webpage.