The National Committee for Accreditation of coaching Education (NCACE) is a committee maintained by the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE), a not-for-profit organization involved in supporting the professions of coaching, coaching education and coach development. Under its auspices, the purpose of NCACE is to grant accreditation to educational programs that meet or exceed the requirements outlined in the NCACE Guidelines for Accreditation of Coaching Education. Key to NCACE’s efforts are the National Standards for Sport Coaches. Originally published in 1995 and recently updated in 2019 by the SHAPE America, the standards provide the basis in which NCACE evaluates the content of coaching education programs.
Why is sports coaching education important?We believe well trained sport coaches are the key elements to providing quality sports experiences for America’s youth. Studies indicate that sport coaches would benefit from coach education. Relevant Facts 69% of all youth (6-12) participate at least one day in an individual or team sport youth sport program (Aspen Institute, 2018). Approximately 8 million student-athletes participate in high school sports (NFHS, 2018) 460,000 student-athletes compete within the NCAA collegiate sports (NCAA, 2019) The broad appeal of sports creates an opportunity within sport to have a positive impact on the development and well-being of millions of people within the United States. Researchers report that the sport coach can set the stage for continued physical activity participation as well as physical and psychological development (Bergeron et al., 2015; Gould et al., 2014; Holt, 2016).
Why are quality coaches important to athletes and their communities?Trained sports coaches are better equipped to create positive sports experiences, which in turn keeps youth involved in sports. When coaches participate in targeted educational interventions compared to untrained coaches, trained coaches: have improved coaching skills and efficacy (e.g., Malete & Feltz, 2000; Newin et al., 2008; Sullivan & Gee, 2008) have more positive psychological outcomes (e.g., Duda et al., 2018; Smith et al., 2007) have a stronger commitment to the sport (e.g., Barnett et al., 1992) compared to untrained coaches.
Why is leadership development important to sport coaches?Sport coaches need leadership development to become better coaches because coaching entails leading and teaching athletes. Additionally, the sports industry needs leaders among coaches to lead coaching associations, promote particular sports in their communities and to participate in their respective sport national governing bodies. Of particular concern is the growing need to recruit and train sport coaches to replace the baby boomer generation coaches who are entering retirement by the thousands each year.
Is there a demand for coaching education in the United States?American sport coaches at each layer of sport are an underserved community. Each year, veteran coaches, sport scientists and coach educators expand the knowledge pool of how to coach more effectively. Yet the majority of coaches do not have easy access to this information. What coaches are saying about professional development and education: 67 % — Paying a fee would not be discouraging 72 % — Mandatory coaching education encouraged them to continue 85 % — Prefer a league that requires training 85 % — Believe that training increases skill and confidence 86 % — Would attend training even if not required [Coaching Education Survey: National Youth Sports Research and Development Center, 2000] Further, Vargas-Tonsing (2007, p. 31) noted in her study that the 366 volunteer youth sport coaches "appeared to have very positive perceptions towards coaching education. Almost all of the respondents believed that coaching education is important. Thus, not surprisingly, the majority of participants also felt that coaching education should not only be mandatory but also that coaching certification should be required."