Privacy Disclaimer Sitemap UKA Sponsors Home page Coaching Qualifications Events Teachers Resources Contact Us Help Accessibility information Access Keys Skip to content Skip to navigation

UKA Coach Building A Better Coaching Environment

Coaching Assistant

Coaching Assistant - Course Overview

The Coaching Assistant Award will be the first step on the coaching ladder if the candidate has elected not to attend the Athletics Leader Award.

The Coaching Assistant Award will provide prospective coaches with an introduction to coaching athletics via a range of run, jump and throw skills and athletics activities. To support the multi event approach to developing athletics, Coaching Assistants will be expected to support sessions that develop running, jumping and throwing activities. The course is focused on the inital stages of the athlete development pathway:

  • Fundamentals: multiple sports expereince with rapid skill development potential;
  • Foundation: exposure to a wide range of athletics experience covering run, jump and throw activities;
  • Event Group Development: focus on a range of events within an event group, i.e. sprints, jumps to develop all round event group specific conditioning.

The Coaching Assistant Award does not focus on specific athletics events such as javelin, triple jump or steeplechase, but identifies the core principles that enable an athlete to effectively run, jump and throw, establishing a sound base for all future athletic activities both in training and competition. The course duration is two days and will usually be run over one weekend. There is no assessment element. A Coaching Assistant license will be awarded to successful attendees on completion. 

The Coaching Assistant Award, which forms a solid knowledge base for further study, is part one of a two-step process to becoming a coach. 

Role of the Coaching Assistant

The role of the Coaching Assistant is to support a Coach in the delivery of athletics sessions. Coaching Assistants may work alongside an Athletics Coaches, a Coach in Running Fitness or an Event Group Development Coach, therefore the range of knowledge required for this role is wide. When qualified, a Coaching Assistant works under the guidance of a licensed Coach and may deliver units of the session on behalf of the Supervising Coach. Although a Supervising Coach must always be present, a Coaching Assistant may coach in another area of the venue as long as they are delivering the session created by the Supervising Coach. If javelin, hammer, discus or pole vault are being taught (other than with soft / adapted equipment) then DIRECT SUPERVISION is required. The Supervising Coach MUST BE PRESENT at the same part of the track so they can see and hear what is going on. For other activities the Coaching Assistant should still be working under supervision, however they may be at a differnt part of the track.

It is not the role of the Coaching Assistant to devise sessions; this is the responsibility of the Supervising Coach. However, by the end of the course a Coaching Assistant should be in a position to contribute to the planning.

The Coaching Assistant should recieve detailed guidance from the Supervising Coach on the content, goals and focus of the session in advance of the session. This could be in the form of a selection of task cards or a session plan from which to work. There should be the opportunity prior to the session to discuss the session with the Supervising Coach to clarify any questions or issues that may arise. For full details on this process, refer to the "Role of the Coach" video or view it below.

After the session, the Coaching Assistant and Supervising Coach should review and discuss the Coaching Assistants performance during the session, identifying progress towards their personal coaching goal and action planning for future development. The Role of the Coach video provides a model demonstrating this process in action. 

Who should go on this course?

The Coaching Assistant Award is for those working with athletes up to the Event Group Development stage (see the Athlete Development Pathway for details) and is aimed particulalry at adults, athletes, ex-athletes and parents. The course is recommended for those that have decided to embark on the coaching pathway and forms the first step in their commitment to that process. All NEW future applicants for UKA coach education courses will need to complete the Coaching Assistant Award to progress through the system.

It is important to note that this is not a course about individual athletics events; for example Coaching Assistants will not learn how to develop pole vaulting but will be introduced to the movement and mechanical principles of running, jumping and throwing as the basis for success in all athletics events. The Award covers the core coaching skills of demonstration, observation & analysis and feeback.

What does the course cover?

The Coaching Assistant Award covers the following topic areas:

  • The role of the Coaching Assistant
  • Working relationship with Supervising Coach
  • Session structure
  • Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Basic mechanics of running, jumping and throwing
  • Coaching interventions
  • Coaching styles
  • Athlete development
  • Behaviour management and its effect on group management
  • Factors influencing perfromance
  • Energy systems
  • Coaching Skills: Organisation, Safety, Instruction & Explanation, Demonstration, Observation & Analysis, and Feedback.

What resources are available?

  • Induction Pack
  • A selection of on course task cards with video clips
  • Session plan templates
  • On Track 4 cards
  • On course Workbook
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Manual
  • Behaviour management scenarios
  • Role of Coach video
  • Personal action plans
  • Background information: warm up and stretching

**You can now buy many of the resources in hard copy from the uCoach Shop!**


Anyone wishing to attend a Coaching Assistant Award will need to complete an application form and sign up to the terms and conditions of being a Coaching Assistant. Forms should be submitted to the education team in the relevant Home Country (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales). Forms MUST NOT be sent to UKA as we cannot process them. All applications must be accompanied by a photgraph which will appear on the licence.

In addition to the application to be licensed, prospective Coaching Assistants need to complete a UKA CRB or Disclosure check. A licence cannot be issued without a CRB. CRB checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore UKA must have a new check made. The CRB itself is free for club volnteers. For details on how to arrange a CRB follow this link.

There is an induction process prior to attending the course including six pre-course tasks that prospective Coaching Assistants are expected to complete and bring to the course. The induction process, which will also involve the Supervising Coach, should take no more than four hours to complete. Those registering on the course are strongly advised to book in sufficient time to complete the pre-course requirements. The induction pack and pre-course material can be downloaded HERE.

What should I expect on the course?

Coaching Assistant

The course is two full days (9am - 5pm) with a mixture of classroom and practical sessions, although the majority of the day will take place in a practical environment. There is an element of physical activity so you should come dressed for light exercise. If there are any medical reasons why you cannot take part in activity tutors should be advised prior to the start of the session. Throughout the course you will be expected to engage in all sessions including coaching groups from task cards and session plans, and act as athletes whilst others are coaching. There should be both a morning and an afternoon break and a 30 minute lunch break. The course programme is comprehensive therefore your cooperation in arriving promptly would be greatly appreciated.

At the end of the second day there is the opportunity for coaching practice working in pairs, this is completed in an informal environment with your course peers. You will deliver a set activity from a task card or session plan, therefore your familiarity with the layout prior to attending the course is importnat and forms part of the induction process.

What do I need to bring?

You will be provided with an on course Workbook to record any learning from the course so you only need to bring a pen. It would be useful to bring a drink as we cannot guarantee access to refreshments at all venues. Please note that lunch is not provided.

How do I book?

To make a course enquiry, booking or for further course information including price, contact the education team in your Home Country - Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales (depending where you live). UKA do not run courses so do not contact UKA.

Post-Course Material

To view the post course material for the Coaching Assistant course please click here.



Email to a friend

Choose Your Palette:

login form