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

Application Available Date
January 20-23, 2020 Tempe, AZ Application window is CLOSED

The clinic fee is $655 and includes snacks and lunches. It does not include lodging, any travel expenses, or the background check fee. If you get accepted to the clinic and choose to attend Endurance Exchange as well, the total fee is $749.

USA Triathlon Level III Coaching Clinic - Jan. 20-23, 2020; Tempe, AZ

This clinic will include presentations from attendees who have been prepared prior to the clinic on an area of weakness. There will also be at least two case studies that the attendees will have to present. One of which they get time to prepare and one to test ready-knowledge. The clinic will also include group discussions with each other, led by Level III/High Performance Coaches. In addition, this Level III clinic will be overlapping a Level I clinic. Level III attendees will lead hands-on/practical sessions of the Level I clinic as well as group discussions on training planning. The Level I attendees will be asked to comment on and evaluate the Level III attendees.

This will be a conformational clinic rather than an educational clinic. We are looking to certify coaches who are already at the highest level. We want to see your passion, hear your knowledge and observe you in action. We are looking for coaches who are well-rounded, experienced, passionate and professional. To be considered for the upcoming Level III clinic you must submit proof of the following to by Nov. 15. Candidates will be selected by Dec. 1.

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 project. Only after all of the requirements are satisfactorily met with an 80% or higher will a candidate be considered passed through the Level III clinic.

Formal Requirements:

  • Must be a current USA Triathlon Level II/Level II Endurance Coach, in good standing, for a minimum of three years
  • Have coached for a minimum of eight years, including experience with:
    • Youth
    • Age Group
    • Elite
    • Long course
    • Short course
    • Experience coaching other sports than triathlon
  • Must be coaching on a day-to-day basis and have experience with building a business
  • Must complete a mentorship program with an existing USA Triathlon Level III/High Performance Coach. This can be prior to or after the Level III clinic. *See more details below.
  • Must demonstrate exceptional knowledge in physiology, nutrition and psychology
  • Must have volunteered regularly throughout coaching career
  • A USA Triathlon Level III candidate 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) 

Formal Application Requirements:

  • Written essay about:
    • How you have contributed to the coaching community and the impact it has had
    • What more you can contribute to/teach the coaching community
    • How you plan to contribute to building/strengthening the athlete/coach pipeline
    • Five books/podcasts/role models that have impacted you as a coach
    • Why you should be accepted to this clinic
  • Example of at least one athlete you have coached to a high level of performance and how you, as a coach, impacted them as a triathlete
  • Letter of recommendation from two existing USA Triathlon Level III/High Performance Coaches and two athletes, which include:
    • Coach’s strengths and weaknesses
    • How the coach has influenced their life
    • What they believe the coach contributes to the coaching community
    • What improvements do they think the coach can make
  • Detailed ATP of an athlete that you coach, including:
    • Brief description of how your experience as an Level I/Level II Coach taught you this process
    • Buildup of each of the three disciplines
    • Strength & mobility
    • Recovery strategies
    • Load management predictions (tss, ctl, atl..)
  • Current CPR/AED Certification
  • Online Background Check (Criteria)
  • Online SafeSport Training
  • Current USA Triathlon Membership

Preferred Candidate Qualifications:

These qualifications are not required, but having coached an athlete to these accomplishments will increase the likelihood of acceptance:

  • Top 10 AG at Ironman Kona
  • Top 10 overall at Nationals
  • Top 10 at Junior Nationals
  • Top 10 placing ITU WC
  • Currently coaching WTS athletes

*Mentorship Program Requirements: 

To achieve a Level III Coach Certification you must participate in a mentorship program with an existing USA Triathlon Level III/High Performance Coach and submit an essay on what you learned from this experience, as well as a letter of recommendation from your mentor coach. This can be a mentorship program you have done in the past or one that you will do following the Level III clinic. If you are accepted to the clinic before having done so, you will not receive Level III Certified Coach status until the mentorship is completed. 

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 - please email

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