Coaches

How To Become a Coach

After reviewing the requirements and important information for all coaches below, use the following links to jump to the level of certification you're interested in:

The Process

Getting Started

USAC has three levels of certified coaches, beginning at level 3 and continuing through level 1. Through studying, attending clinics, passing tests and coaching athletes, you can become a certified coach and upgrade your license. The benefits to holding a USAC Coaching License are numerous, including the ability to work with Team USA at some of the world’s biggest events like the world UCI championships or the Olympics. All coaches will enjoy higher marketability that accompanies any official certification, and USAC offers numerous opportunities to take optional classes that include topics like training with a power meter and discipline specific skills and practices.

All applicants must meet the following criteria, in addition to other requirements outlined below, to apply for coaching certification of any level:

  • be either a US citizen or a legal resident residing in the U.S.
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • pass a criminal background check
LEVEL 3 REQUIREMENTS

The requirements (in addition to the above listed requirements) to become a Level 3 USA Cycling certified coach are:

  • You are eligible to take the level 3 online exam as soon as you order Introduction to Coaching Cyclists.
  • Complete and pass the Level 3 certification exam (information below). 
LEVEL 2 REQUIREMENTS

The requirements to become a Level 2 USA Cycling certified coach are (in addition to the above requirements for all coaches):

  • Be a current USA Cycling certified coach in good standing
  • Attend a Level 2 Certification Clinic
  • Pass the Level 2 certification exam (passing score 80%) 

Once a coach becomes a level 3 certified coach, the coach is eligible to attend a Level 2 certification clinic and/or Level 2 skills clinic.

Level 2 coaching clinics are held throughout the country and are a 2 ½ day clinic typically held Friday through Sunday. Please note that becoming a level 2 coach does not re-start the CEU "clock".   Attending the clinic will count for CEUs.

LEVEL 1 REQUIREMENTS

The requirements to become a Level 1 USA Cycling certified coach are:

  • Have been a Level 2 coach for at least five (5) consecutive years
  • Attend the Level 1 Certification Clinic
  • Pass the Level 1 certification exam (80% is a passing grade)
  • Be a coach in good standing

 The Level 1 certification clinic is held in Colorado Springs every odd year (subject to change). Please note that becoming a level 1 coach does not re-start the CEU "clock". Attending the clinic will count for CEUs.



Important Information for ALL Coaches

  • Periodically review the continuing education policy. You are responsible for knowing and keeping up to date on the continuing education policy.

  • At the discretion of USA Cycling, any individual who has admitted to, pleaded no contest in regard to, been convicted of or served a sentence for a violation of the USADA, WADA, or UCI anti-doping code may be denied a coaching license.

  • Any coach whose license expired prior to 12/31/2008 must re-apply for their Level 3 license.

  • All annual licenses expire on December 31 of the year they are issued and must be renewed annually to remain active. All two year licenses will expire on December 31 of the following the year in which they were issued and must be renewed every other year to remain active (coaches may renew their license 30-days prior to the end of the year for the following year).

  • All coaches will have sixty (60) days from the time their coaching license is issued to complete their required SafeSport training. Any coach who does not complete the training within the sixty days, will have their license suspended pending completion of the SafeSport training.

  • USA Cycling considers you to be a coach for an entire year if you are certified for only part of that year. For instance, if you become a certified level 2 coach on December 15, 2004, you are considered to be a level 2 coach for all of 2014 when it comes to eligibility for the level 1 course. The above criteria are based on the date on which you become a level 2 coach, not the date that you attended the level 2 clinic.

Certification

Level 3

Certification

Application Requirements

The Level 3 coach certification is for any aspiring USA Cycling coach. 

Any coach whose license expired prior to 12/31/2008 must re-apply for their Level 3 license.

The process to becoming a Level 3 coach requires self-teaching, studying, and passing an online test, followed by a criminal background check and SafeSport Training. Only once the test is passed (a score of at least 80% is required to pass), the required background checks and SafeSport training are completed, and forms and waivers are signed and sent in will a Level 3 coaching license be sent to you. Please allow for 3-4 weeks for the license to arrive once all required materials have been received by USAC.

The test covers information provided in Introduction to Coaching Cyclists as well as information found in UCI rule books and/or USA Cycling rule books.

How To Get Certified

  1. Order Introduction to Coaching Cyclists. This can be purchased online once logged in to your USA Cycling account. If you don’t have an account you will have to create one by clicking HERE. This can also be ordered via regular mail by sending in the Order Form. For more information on how to order, click here.
  2. Study the material in Introduction To Coaching Cyclists

  3. Take the Level 3 test online. A score of 80% or better is passing. If you score less than 80%, you may retake the test after 14 days have passed. Please see Exam below for more information on this process.

  4. Complete the Coaching License Application and Risk/Media waiver and send to USA Cycling via coaches@usacycling.org, fax to 719-434-4325 or regular mail to USA Cycling, Coaching License Application, 210 USA Cycling Pt, Ste. 100, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

  5. Review and complete a Criminal Background Check. If you have a current background check from USA Triathlon follow these steps.

  6. Your Coaching License will be issued only after passing the Level 3 test, your completed and signed Coaching License application and Risk/Media waiver are received, and the Criminal Background check is cleared and received by USA Cycling. (Please allow for 3-4 weeks for the license to arrive once all the required materials have been received by USAC.

  7. All coaches will have sixty (60) days from the time their coaching license is issued to complete their required SafeSport training. Any coach who does not complete the training within the sixty days, will have their license suspended pending completion of the SafeSport training.

Exam

  • The Level 3 is a home study, self-paced course.  You will need a USA Cycling account in order to take the exam online.  The test is available following the purchase of the Introduction to Coaching Cyclists manual.

  • Introduction to Coaching Cyclists MUST be purchased directly from USA Cycling in order for you to have access to the Level 3 test. Acquiring the manual from any other sources will not grant you access to the Level 3 Test.

  • The test covers information provided in Introduction to Coaching Cyclists as well as information found in UCI rule books and/or USA Cycling rule books.

  1. Log in to your USA Cycling account, click on “Account” which is located below your welcome header.  On the corresponding page click the link “Coaching Links (including tests)”, and then click on "Take Level 3 Coach Test Online". Finally click on the test link and start the test.  
  2. Once you start the test, you have 14 days to complete it.  If the test is not completed within 14 days from the date you first start, the results will be lost, and you will need to start over again.  All test answers are saved and you may leave the test and return to it later on, provided you still complete the test within 14 days after you started it. However, once you leave a page, you cannot return to change answers.  Unanswered questions will come back again. Please do NOT use the browser "BACK" button to go back in the test. If you use the “BACK” button test answers will be lost.
  3. Once finished and submitted, the test will be scored immediately and your results will be displayed.  If you pass the test (80% or better), you will be given the option to see the questions you missed.
  4. Once you pass the test, please refer to Step 4 (above) under the Steps to Becoming a USA Cycling Coach.
  5. If you fail the test, you may retake the test after 14 days have passed.  Your missed answers will not be shown if you fail the test.
  6. TIP:  Depending on the web browser and version of web browser, we suggest you open the test in one window or tab and open another window or tab to view the rule book(s).  As the rule books are searchable, this may assist you while taking the test.
  7. To check the status of our license, please login to your USA Cycling account page and click on the License Info tab where you can check the status of your license.

During January and February of each year please allow extra time for processing due to the volume of coaching license applications.



Clinic

Level 3 certification does not require a clinic.

Certification

Level 2

Certification

Application Requirements

All coaches looking to obtain their Level 2 license must be a licensed Level 3 coach in good standing with USA Cycling. You will be required to attend a Road Level 2 Clinic and then take the Level 2 test, which will only be made available at the conclusion of the Level 2 Clinic.

Coaches who are Level 2 certified can expect to take home a wealth of knowledge in achieving a higher level of bike-handling skills, a better understanding of the physiological stresses and adaptations the body endures through training, and how to utilize these stresses and adaptations in writing a better training plan for their athletes.

Note: There is no fee to upgrade a coaching license.

How to Get Certified

  1. Register for one of the Level 2 Coaching Clinics listed below. To register, log in to your account, then visit the View Available Clinics/Webinars page. You must have a current coaching license to attend Level 2 clinics.
  2. The clinic is a requirement for certification. Once you have registered and paid for the clinic, the Coaching Education Director will put you on an email list and send period updates on location, schedule, and itinerary.
  3. Complete the Level 2 test. The test is only available upon completion of the Level 2 Clinic. It is a self-paced test to be completed at home and returned to the Coaching Education Manager. There is no deadline on turning in the Level 2 answer sheet, but you are encouraged to complete it as soon as possible.


Clinic

Our Mission: Enhance coaches abilities through excellence in education, opportunities, tools, and technology. The Level 2 clinics educate coaches to best prepare athletes towards becoming competitive bike racers. The agenda for the clinics will provide a foundation in sport physiology and training plan design.

Note: Level 2 Coaches may attend the Level 2 Clinic as a refresher course to earn CEUs if space is available;  priority will be given to current Level 3 Coaches seeking to upgrade.

2018 Level 2 Coaching Clinics

  • Phoenix, AZ - January 25-28, 2018

This is a combined TrainingPeaks University and USAC Level 2 clinic

920 N 54th Street 
Chandler  Arizona  85226  

To receive the USA Cyling rate, please call 1-800-321-2211 on or before January 4, 2018 and ask for the USA Cycling group rate.

  • TrainingPeaks University/Level 2 Combination Clinic

Join TrainingPeaks and USA Cycling for a special 4 day clinic focusing on using TrainingPeaks more efficiently and becoming a better coach though hands-on practical application.
Coaches attending the TPU/Level 2 Clinic will earn 40 USA Cycling CEUs and become eligible for the TrainingPeaks certification program. Attendance at the full clinic is mandatory, no partialattendance or CEUs allocation will be allowed.
REGISTER HERE

  • Rock Hill, SC - May 25-27, 2018

Giordana Velodrome

  • Colorado Springs, CO - August 24-26, 2018

The Level 2 Clinic in Colorado Springs, CO will be held at the USA Cycling National Conference Center.
Recommended Lodging options:
Colorado Springs Marriott - Access the USA Cycling Group Rate HERE
Hyatt House

  • Thousand Oaks, CA

October 2018 - Date and Location TBD

Curriculum and Attendance Requirements

Coaches will need to have a bike in good working condition and to have either an annual racing license or a one-day license (USA Cycling will provide one-day licenses at the clinic). USA Cycling cannot provide bikes for the clinic.

The Level 2 Clinic covers on-bike skills instruction, exercise physiology (bioenergetics, muscle structure, adaptations and function, cardiorespiratory physiology and adaptations, etc.),  and training plan design and periodization.   In addition, some additional presentations will be available for self-study in electronic format.  More information will be provided after registration.

The Level 2 Coaching Clinic is comprised of two parts: 

  • Part one is an on-bike skills component. The objective is to improve the ability of coaches to teach skills in a fun and engaging manner. All coaches will be expected to participate in the on-bike skills session to the best of the coach's ability. If a person is unable to participate, the coach will be expected to observe and assist with instruction when feasible.
  • Part two will educate coaches on the basics of sport physiology, sport nutrition, over-training and training plan design. 

Registration

Registration is open and available by logging on your USA Cycling account. To register, log in to your account, then visit the View Available Clinics/Webinars page. You must have a current coaching license to attend this clinic.

If you need to change clinics after registration, there is a $100 change fee if the change takes place within 30 days of the start of the clinic you originally registered for. Please see the Cancellation Policy section and FAQ below for more information.

Cost and Details

The Level 2 Clinic costs $499 (subject to change without prior notification) and will include on bike skills session, lectures and handouts.  Cost of lodging and meals are not generally not included.  Paying through a method other than via your USA Cycling account, will incur an additional $50 charge. Contact coaches@usacycling.org for options.

If you need to change clinics after registration, there is a $100 change fee if the change takes place within 30 days of the start of the clinic you originally registered for. 

Each coach is responsible for his/her own lodging.  USA Cycling may have a host hotel where the clinic is being held and will supply a direct link to the hotel and possible preferred rates. If a clinic is held at one of the US Olympic Training Centers, lodging and/or meals may be available for an additional fee. The fee will be listed with the clinic registration.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds for cancellations will be issued according to the following schedule. The refund period is based on the first day of the clinic for while you are registered. 

  • 14 days or fewer, no refund

  • 15-30 days, 25% refund

  • 31-60 days, 50% refund

  • 61 or more days, 75% refund

Schedule

The clinic will generally start at 8am on Friday and end around noon on Sunday (subject to change). The clinic is scheduled to end at 6pm each day (except Sunday).

The typical format (subject to change) will be:

Day One

8:00-9:30 - Introductions and Overview

9:30-1:30 - On-bike skills/drills (Please bring food and drink due to length of time before the break)    

1:30-2:30 - Break                                     

2:30-5:00 - Sports Physiology

5:00-6:00 - Business of Coaching

Day Two

8:00-11:30 - On-Bike Practical

11:30-12:30 - Break

12:30-3:00 - Sports Physiology - Practical application

3:00-6:00 - Training Plan Design

Day Three

8:00-12:30 - Training Plan Design/Discussion/Practical

Testimonials

    • "The clinic was great and I am excited to apply the things I learned this weekend with my little 500 team!"
    • "Thanks for doing a great job presenting, I appreciate all of the great coaching that you bring to the table!"
    • "I not only learned a lot of fantastic stuff, but I got to do it with a lot of great people! This clinic really lit a fire in me!"
    • "I want to compliment the coaches on what a fantastic job they did of "leading by example" and keeping a positive, constructive atmosphere. All the instructors were articulate and did a great job making the presentations accessible and interesting to everyone."
    • "I thought the clinic was awesome. I learned so much- not just about cycling, but about coaching."
    • "Good stuff at today's USA Cycling Coaching L2 Clinic in Augusta, GA! @usacycling has it together!"

ANY QUESTIONS CAN BE ANSWERED EITHER IN OUR CLINICS FAQs OR THROUGH CONTACTING COACHES@USACYCLING.ORG OR CALLING 719.434.4224

Certification

Level 1

Certification

Application Requirements

Gaining level 1 certification differentiates you from a myriad of other coaches, offering you the most comprehensive coaching education at the discretion of USAC. 

In order to achieve USA Cycling’s highest level of coaching certification, a coach must be a Level 2 coach, in good standing, for 5 consecutive years and attend a Level 1 Clinic, or be a Level 2 coach for 3 consecutive years, accumulate 200 CEU’s following completion of the Level 2 Clinic and attend a Level 1 Clinic. After either qualification is achieved, the coach must pass the Level 1 exam.

Note: There is no fee to upgrade a coaching license.

How to Get Certified

  1. Register for one of the Level 1 Coaching Clinics listed below. To register, log in to your account, then visit the View Available Clinics/Webinars page. You must have a current coaching license to attend Level 1 clinics.
  2. The clinic is a requirement for certification. Once you have registered and paid for the clinic, the Coaching Education Director will put you on an email list and send period updates on location, schedule, and itinerary.
  3. Complete the Level 1 exam.

Exam

More information coming soon!



Clinic

Our Mission: Enhance coaches abilities through excellence in education, opportunities, tools, and technology.

2017 Level 1 Coaching Clinics

The next Level 1 clinic will take place November 8-11, 2017 at the USA Cycling Headquarters in Colorado Springs (210 USA Cycling Pt. Colorado Springs, CO 80919).

Overview of the key topics to be presented at the 2017 Level 1 Clinic:

  • Professionalism and professional development – self-evaluation, skills and best practices for professional growth in high performance sport
  • The sport scientist coach – an exploration of the key skills and resources the professional coach needs to keep up with and key sport science knowledge designed to inform and guide elite level coaching
  • Long term athlete development and talent identification –an overview of the most recent holistic models and science for long term athlete development and the implications for application, understanding of proper talent identification
  • Real life application of periodization theory –evaluation, refinement and trouble shooting
  • Athletes and anxiety – a coach’s toolbox for preparation and problem solving with common and uncommon anxiety issues which interfere with athlete performance
  • Team management and leadership – job expectations, leadership skills, and best practices for building teams, managing teams and racing teams

Curriculum and Attendance Requirements

To be eligible to attend the level 1 clinic, a coach must have been a level 2 coach for five (5) consecutive years.  The clock starts when you become a level 2 coach (not when you attend the level 2 clinic).  If you become a level 2 coach on December 31 of a year, this counts as the entire year. Therefore, to be eligible for 2017, the coach has to have been a level 2 coach prior to January 1, 2013.  

The only way to circumvent the "5 Year Rule" is to be a Level 2 coach for three (3) consecutive years AND accumulate 200 CEUs AFTER you become a level 2 coach.  This means you can only count activities after you actually become a level 2 coach (thus the level 2 clinic cannot count).

The USA Cycling Level 1 coaching clinic will provide an intensive 3.5 day coaching education program exploring cutting edge sport science topics. The newly re-designed Level 1 program will help coaches develop the key skills and knowledge for best practices based elite coaching.  Registered coaches will be supplied with an assigned reading list at least one month prior to the program.  The Level 1 clinic has been re-designed and will be taught by Dr. Kristen Dieffenbach PhD, associate professor of Athletic Coaching Education at West Virginia University and Dr. Steve McGregor PhD, professor of exercise physiology at Eastern Michigan State University.  In addition to their academic teaching experience, both Steve and Kristen are experienced level 1 coaches.  

In addition to traditional classroom style lecture, an emphasis will be placed on the use of case studies, demonstrations, critical thinking exercises, problem solving activities, and active participation will be a key part of the overall program design.  

Because the Level 1 clinic is designed to cover current 'hot topics', registration is not limited only to coaches seeking a license upgrade.  Current level 1 coaches who are interested in enhancing their professional development are welcome to attend as well.

Registration

Registration is open and available by logging on your USA Cycling account. To register, log in to your account, then visit the View Available Clinics/Webinars page. You must have a current coaching license to attend this clinic.

If you need to change clinics after registration, there is a $100 change fee if the change takes place within 30 days of the start of the clinic you originally registered for. Please see the Cancellation Policy section and FAQ below for more information.

Cost and Details

Cancellation Policy

Refunds for cancellations will be issued according to the following schedule. The refund period is based on the first day of the clinic for while you are registered. 

  • 14 days or fewer, no refund

  • 15-30 days, 25% refund

  • 31-60 days, 50% refund

  • 61 or more days, 75% refund

Lodging

Recommended Lodging options:
Colorado Springs Marriott - Access USA Cycling rates HERE
Hyatt house 

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites
Staybridge Suites

Schedule

(Subject to change)

Wednesday, Nov 8
8:30am - 9am - Clinic intro/overview
9am – noon - Professionalism & Coaching
Noon – 1:30pm - Lunch
1:30pm – 5pm - Science, Sport & Research Informed Coaching
5-5:30pm - Day 1 recap
Thursday, Nov 9
8:30am - 9am - Day 2 overview
9am – noon - Long Term Athlete Development & Talent ID
Noon – 1:30pm - Lunch
1:30pm – 5pm Periodization Concepts in Application
5-5:30pm - Day 2 recap
Friday, Nov 10
8:30am - 9am - Day 3 overview
9am – noon - Sport Psychology
Noon – 1:30pm - Lunch
1:30pm – 5pm - Team Management & Leadership
5-5:30pm - Day 3 recap
Saturday, Nov 11
8:30am - 9am - Day 4 overview
9am – noon - Case Study Discussion
Noon – 12:30pm - Clinic Wrap Up

** Note: This is a participation based clinic. An in-program group project will be assigned the first day. There will be time to work on the project throughout the clinic, but participants should also expect some lunch and evening group work meetings as well.

BMX COACHING

Certification

USA Cycling has a two-tier BMX coach certification program. The entry level (Level 3) is a home-study, self-pace course. 

The second tier (Level 2) requires attendance at a USA Cycling BMX Level 2 certification clinic.

Level 3 BMX Certification

Application Requirements

The Level 3 coach certification is for any aspiring USA Cycling coach. All applicants must:

  • be either a US citizen or a legal resident residing in the U.S.
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • pass a criminal background check

How to Get Certified

  1. Order Introduction to BMX Coaching (BMX Level 3 manual). This can be purchased online once logged in to your USA Cycling account. If you don’t have an account you will have to create one by clicking on the “Log In” button on the upper right of USA Cycling website. This can also be ordered via regular mail by sending in the Order Form.

  2. Read and Study Introduction to BMX Coaching.

  3. Take the Level 3 test online (the test is only available online in your account following your purchase of  Introduction to BMX Coaching). A score of 80% or better is passing. If you score less than 80%, you may retake the test after 14 days have passed. Please see Directions for Taking the Level 3 Exam Online below for more information on this process.

  4. Complete BMX Coaching License Application and Risk/Media waivers and send to USA Cycling via coaches@usacycling.org, fax to 719-434-4325 or regular mail to USA Cycling, Coaching License Application, 210 USA Cycling Pt, Ste. 100, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.

  5. Review and complete a Criminal Background Check. If you have a current background check from USA Triathlon, you will have to contact NCSI to release the results to USA Cycling

  6. Your BMX Coaching License will be issued (allow 3-4 weeks for delivery once all materials have been delivered to USAC) only after passing the BMX Level 3 test, your completed and signed Coaching License application and Risk/Media waiver are received, and the Criminal Background check is cleared and received by USA Cycling.

Exam

  • The Level 3 is a home study, self-paced course.  You will need a USA Cycling account in order to take the exam online.  The test is available following the purchase of the Introduction to BMX Coaching manual.

  • Introduction to BMX Coaching MUST be purchased directly from USA Cycling in order for you to have access to the Level 3 test. Acquiring the manual from any other sources will not grant you access to the Level 3 Test.

  • The test covers information provided in Introduction to BMX Coaching Cyclists as well as information found in UCI rule books and/or USA Cycling rule books.

  1. Log in to your USA Cycling account, click on “Account” which is located below your welcome header.  On the corresponding page click the link “Coaching Links (including tests)”, and then click on "Take Level 3 BMX Coach Test Online". Finally click on the test link and start the test.  
  2. Once you start the test, you have 14 days to complete it.  If the test is not completed within 14 days from the date you first start, the results will be lost, and you will need to start over again.  All test answers are saved and you may leave the test and return to it later on, provided you still complete the test within 14 days after you started it. However, once you leave a page, you cannot return to change answers.  Unanswered questions will come back again. Please do NOT use the browser "BACK" button to go back in the test. If you use the “BACK” button test answers will be lost.
  3. Once finished and submitted, the test will be scored immediately and your results will be displayed.  If you pass the test (80% or better), you will be given the option to see the questions you missed.
  4. Once you pass the test, please refer to Step 4 (above) under the How to Get Certified.
  5. If you fail the test, you may retake the test after 14 days have passed.  Your missed answers will not be shown if you fail the test.
  6. TIP:  Depending on the web browser and version of web browser, we suggest you open the test in one window or tab and open another window or tab to view the rule book(s).  As the rule books are searchable, this may assist you while taking the test.
  7. To check the status of our license, please login to your USA Cycling account page and click on the License Info tab where you can check the status of your license.

During January and February of each year please allow extra time for processing due to the volume of coaching license applications.



Level 3 BMX Clinic

Level 3 certification does not require a clinic.



Level 2 BMX Certification & Clinic

More information coming soon!