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Coaching Qualifications & Pathway

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Formal coach education qualifications

Choosing the course that's right for you

Coach Education Case Study

April 2015 Qualifications Update

In April 2015 several changes were announced with respect to progression following the Athletics Coach and CiRF Awards. Please read the update for details by CLICKING HERE.

Formal Coach Education Qualifications

1. Leader

Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Who should go on the course?

The 'Leadership in Running Fitness' Award is aimed at anyone who has an interest in running for fitness and would like to lead a group. Although this award is not a Coaching Qualification, it does provide an entry pathway towards coaching qualifications. The award is a one-day attendance only course.

Key Details:

  • The course is designed to prepare you as a Leader. As a Leader, a key responsibility will be providing a safe and enjoyable running experience for people over the age of 12 of any level of ability, age, size and shape. As a Leader you may be a member of an Athletics Club or Fitness or other sports club.
  • The course will focus on the safe organization of running activities and how to lead a group of inexperienced runners. You will be asked to consider some of the barriers that may prevent people from taking up running and think about what you could do as a leader to make a difference. You will also discover, the reasoning and purpose behind warming up and cooling down and new activities that can make running a varied and enjoyable experience. Alongside this, the course also covers the core skills of Instruction and Explanation, Demonstration and Risk Assessment.
  • Your qualification as a Leader in Running Fitness provides you with insurance to lead a group within the limits of the course content. However, it is important to note that this course is not about coaching runners and should you wish to coach runners then you will need to attend a coaching specific coach education course.

Find out more about the LiRF course HERE.

2. Coaching Assistant Award

The Coaching Assistant Award is the first step on the coaching ladder.

Who should go on this course?

The course is primarily aimed at adult athletes, ex-athletes, and parents.

Key Details:

  • The two-day attendance only programme will normally be delivered over one weekend and has been designed to cover the early stages of the Athlete Development Pathway. It is the first step for those that are committed to becoming a coach.
  • The Coaching Assistant Award will work with standard athletics equipment and support an Athletics Coach in the delivery of athletics sessions.
  • Coaching Assistants may be working between Fundamentals and Event Group Development stages. Prior to attending the course candidates are expected to complete pre-course study via ulearnathletics. This includes completion of an induction pack, familiarisation with task cards and session plan templates, home study packs and pre-course reading.
  • The Coaching Assistant will operate from task cards and session plans provided by the Supervising Coach and they will be insured to assist in the delivery of all aspects of an outcome focussed session whilst being supervised by a Coach.
  • The Supervising Coach must be at the same venue as the Coaching Assistant or if absent, another Supervising Coach must be at the venue.
  • A Coaching Assistant will be able to assist a Coach in the delivery of sessions within that coach’s area of expertise.
  • The Coaching Assistant Award becomes more technical and includes information on movement and mechanical principles underpinning run jump throw activities; once qualified Coaching Assistants will be able to operate in a club environment supporting a Supervising Coach.  

Find out more about the Coaching Assistant Award HERE.

3. Coaching Awards

There are two different coaching qualifications available:

  • Athletics Coach (for Track and Field Club Athletics)
  • Coach in Running Fitness (for road running participation)

Athletics Coach Award

This is the cornerstone of the Coaching Qualifications Programme. The qualification will take three days to complete and requires one day of formal assessment.

Who should go on this course?

Coaches must be 18 or over to embark on the Athletics Coach programme. The programme is for those working with any athlete although the course has a focus upon the Foundation to Event Group Development stages (typically under 18s). All applicants should be actively involved in coaching and ideally have access to foundation stage athletes a minimum of twice a week for a period of at least eight consecutive weeks.
Coaches will need to profile the athletes they work with in addition to their development as part of the assessment element of the programme. 
Candidates should have a minimum of an old UKA Level 1 award or a new Coaching Assistant award.  It is strongly recommended that coaches have three months minimum practical experience of coaching after the completion of the award before commencing on the AC programme. Candidates may progress quicker, at their own discretion, however insufficient coaching experience may have an impact in successfully completing the assessed elements of the programme. 

Coaches must be 18 or over to embark on the Athletics Coach programme. The programme is for those working with any athlete although the course has a focus upon the Foundation to Event Group Development stages (typically under 18s). All applicants should be actively involved in coaching and ideally have access to foundation stage athletes a minimum of twice a week for a period of at least eight consecutive weeks.

Coaches will need to profile the athletes they work with in addition to their development as part of the assessment element of the programme. 

Candidates should have a minimum of an old UKA Level 1 award or a new Coaching Assistant award.  It is strongly recommended that coaches have three months minimum practical experience of coaching after the completion of the award before commencing on the AC programme. Candidates may progress quicker, at their own discretion, however insufficient coaching experience may have an impact in successfully completing the assessed elements of the programme. 

What does the programme cover?

  • Technical basis of running for speed, endurance and over obstacles, jumping for height and distance, push and pull throws
  • Skill development
  • Fundamental movement skills
  • Athlete Profiling
  • Athlete Development
  • Energy systems
  • Factors influencing performance
  • Elements of planning and delivery
  • The role and responsibilities of a Coach
  • The core coaching skills
  • Physical preparation
  • Flexibility
  • Integrated coaching

Find out more about the Athletics Coach Award HERE.

Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) Award

This is the cornerstone of the Coaching Qualifications Programme for off-track endurance. The qualification will take three days to complete and requires one day of formal assessment.

Who should go on this course?

Coaches must be 18 or over to embark on the CiRF programme. The programme is primarily for those working with runners up to and including the event group development stage. All applicants must be active leaders or coaches who have completed a minimum Level 1, FiRW, LiRF or Coaching Assistant course.

CiRF is about the broad application to non-track based endurance running events rather than specific events or distances.

What does the programme cover?

  • Fundamental running skills and drills
  • Skill development
  • Energy systems and endurance running
  • Physical preparation
  • Nutrition
  • Injury prevention and management
  • Flexibility
  • Factors influencing performance
  • Elements of planning and delivery
  • The role and responsibilities of a Coach
  • The core coaching skills
  • Integrated coaching
  • Athlete Development
  • Athlete Profiling

Find out more about the CiRF Award HERE.

 

Choosing the Course that’s right for you...

The qualifications pathway has been created to cater for the needs of those (clubs and individuals) who wish to assist athletes of all ages and abilities in their athletic preparations.

Several roles and qualifications have been formed. All roles are regarded as being equally valuable to the sport and where appropriate the system is flexible. This allows individuals to choose a pathway that meets the needs of the athletes they are working with as well as their own personal aspirations.

As well as covering the generic ‘how to coach’ skills, the awards focus more on the technical ‘what to coach’ skills required to coach across events.

A decision tree diagram has been designed to direct you to the most suitable course which best suits your current circumstances. Please follow the path of the decision tree from the top down to find the course for you!

Download Coaching Decision Tree document (pdf file, 0.72Mb)

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Coach Education Case Study

To help coaches decide which course is most suitable, UKA have interviewed a number of coaches who have participated in one of the Coach Education courses. In this podcast the coach reflects on why he chose their particular course and how it has benefitted him individually and his athletes.

Paul Moseley talks to John Renney about why he chose to undertake the Athletics Coach Course.

John Renney Case Study

Download John's Case Study Podcase Here

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