Level III Certification Overview

USA Triathlon’s Level III Coaching Certification 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, improve performance planning and analysis, and learn organizational techniques through active learning exercises and interactions with the Education Staff of USA Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The Level III Certification is highly selective, and candidates must satisfy the following to be considered.

Level III Certification Requirements

Application Process

Please include a letter describing why you make the ideal Level III USA Triathlon Certified Coach candidate based on the Required Criteria and Professional Advancement Units (PAU). In addition, you must include all required and supporting documentation.

 

Application Requirements

For a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach to be eligible to advance to Level III, he/she needs to have met all the required criteria and have earned a minimum of 8 Professional Advancement Units (PAUs). PAUs were developed to provide flexibility for coaches with different professional experience to be considered for advancement. Please remember that these are the requirements to be considered as an applicant for LIII. Final clinic selection will be determined by a committee of current USA Triathlon LIII Certified Coaches. Due to the rigor and personal focus of the LIII clinic, not all candidates will be accepted as a clinic participant. 

 

Required Criteria

  • Minimum four years as USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach and a minimum of eight years coaching (may include sports other than triathlon)
  • Must have certification or experience in all the following areas:
    • Long Course
    • Short Course
    • Youth & Junior
    • Paratriathlon
  • Coaching resume (including specific coaching certifications and experience)
  • Guided Recommendation (form required) from a USA Triathlon Certified Coach or equivalent
  • Service to the sport (ways you have given back to the sport, above and beyond normal coaching duties)
  • USAT approved mentorship/internship

 

Professional Advancement Units (PAU)

  • USAT Level II Specializations 
    • 2 LII Specializations (1 PAU) 
    • 3 LII Specializations (2 PAUs) 
    • 4 LII Specializations (3 PAUs) 
  • Degree in sport science or relevant field
    • Bachelor’s in sport science or related field (1 PAU)
    • Master’s in sport science or related field (2 PAUs)
    • Doctorate in sport science or related field (3 PAUs)
  • NGB/Industry certifications that are current and in good standing (maximum of 5 PAUs)
    • USA Cycling (1 PAU) 
    • USA Swimming (1 PAU)
    • USA Masters Swimming (1 PAU)
    • USA Track and Field (1 PAU)
    • American College of Sports Medicine (1 PAU)
    • National Strength and Conditioning Association (1 PAU)
    • National Academy of Sports Medicine (1 PAU)
    • Other relevant NGB/Industry certifications subject to approval (1 PAU per NGB/Industry)
  • USAT webinar/clinic/workshop presenter within the last 2 years (1 PAU per webinar/clinic/workshop with a maximum of 3 PAUs)

 

Reference Questions

The following questions are to be answered (on a separate document) by a USA Triathlon Certified Coach or equivalent to refer a USA Triathlon LII coach for LIII certification clinic acceptance. The USA Triathlon Level III Coach Certification process is designed to identify and educate the highest-level coaches that are looking to contribute to the coaching community. These are the coaches we want to mentor and teach our novice coaches. Therefore, it is important that these questions are answered with as much detail as possible as the committee will need this information to make final clinic acceptance decisions.

  1. Please submit your (coach making the recommendation) Resume/Bio Name that includes your name and contact information.
  2. Name of USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach who is applying for the LIII certification clinic.
  3. What is your relationship with coach applicant?
  4. How long have you known the coach applicant?
  5. What are the coach applicant’s greatest strengths? Please provide details and specific examples.
  6. What is the coach applicant’s biggest intellectual and/or academic areas of growth or opportunities? Please provide details and specific examples.
  7. What is one of the coach applicant’s most memorable accomplishments of which you are personally aware? Please provide details and specific examples.
  8. How does the coach applicant handle challenges? Please provide details and specific examples.
  9. How would you describe the coach applicant’s reliability and dependability? Please provide details and specific examples.
  10. What skills would you like to see the coach applicant develop to reach their full potential? Please provide details and specific examples.
  11. Is this coach applicant willing to collaborate with others for the good of the athlete, community, and sport of triathlon? Please provide details and specific examples.
  12. Have you observed the coach applicant teaching groups or peers? (e.g. camp, clinic, workshop, etc.)? If so, describe this coach’s teaching ability. Please provide details and specific examples.
  13. If you have not observed the coach applicant teaching groups or peers (question 12), are you aware of this coach applicant teaching groups or peers? Please provide details and specific examples.
  14. What is something about the coach applicant that might not be listed on their resume? Please provide details and specific examples.
  15. Please provide any additional relevant information that should be considered for this coach applicant. Please provide details and specific examples.
  16. Would you recommend this coach applicant to one of your closest friends, without any reservations?

 

Level III Coach Recertification Overview

A USA Triathlon Coaching Certification is valid for two (2) years. In order to maintain your USA Triathlon Coaching Certification, you must recertify at the end of that two-year time frame (USAT has two recertification deadlines per year: June 30 and December 1). Please note, your Coach Certification expiration date is located on your coaching certificate.

For detailed recertification information, please visit the USA Triathlon Recertification webpage

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

  • $195 Recertification Application Fee (2-year USA Triathlon Annual Membership included)
  • Online Background Check (policy)
  • Annual SafeSport Training 
  • CPR, AED and First Aid Certification
  • Mentor Coach in either the Coach to Coach Mentorship Program or the Elite Mentorship Program
  • Signed USOPC's Ethics Code for Coaches

Additionally, all Level III Certified Coaches must either select 3 of the options below and complete 20 total CEUs or must complete all of the options below and 0 CEUs:

  • Present a USAT Webinar (unpaid)
  • Write an article for the Performance Coaching Newsletter (unpaid)
  • Host two USAT CEU Clinics in partnership with USAT (50/50 paid split with USAT)
  • Present at a USAT Coaching Clinic (paid)
  • Propose Your Own (must be approved - please email coaching@usatriathlon.org)