The goal of NCACE is to maximize the availability of qualified coaches for all sport programs. Through a rigorous review process and forward-thinking leadership, NCACE provides the highest quality, empirically-based guidance for the creation, implementation, and evaluation of coach education and coach development programs. The accreditation process reviews programs based on the following 15 Accreditation Guidelines:
1. Mission and Objectives of Program
2. Systematic Oversight of All Aspects of the Program
3. Maintains Complete and Systematic Records of Program Activities
4. Qualified Administrative Leader
5. Instructional Staff Demonstrates Expertise
6. Demonstration of Effective Teaching Skills and Delivery of Content
7. Instructor/Participant Ratio Provide for Interaction
8. Instructional Staff Knowledgeable of the NSSC
9. Program Evaluation to Assess Effectiveness
10. Transparency of Program Materials to Participants
11. Reliable and Valid Assessment
12. Appropriate Practical Field Experiences
13. Clear and Inclusive Entry Qualifications
14. Content of coach education and coach development programs based on SHAPE America’s National Standards for Sport Coaches;
15. Sufficient Instructional Time
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."