Thoughts on Certification

I think my posts on letters and the plethora of certifications available have been misunderstood. I do believe in certification. I believe in certification with substance. By substance I mean programs that require apprenticeships with a recognized professional in the field. It should entail significant hands on educational component, for example a week long course that has a blend of theoretical and practical. It has to be much more than a paper and pencil test or an online video review. There must be a project that shows original thinking and a depth of knowledge. In short it should be rigorous so that it has substance so that potential employers have a better idea of what they are getting. It should have levels that reflect the hierarchy of knowledge and time served - experince, which just reflects sound pedagogy. No one should be grandfathered into a program. There is much more, but I think that should give you an idea of where I am coming from.

Over the years beginning in the late sixties I have studied coaching education programs in a wide variety of sports all over the world. When we started the USA Track & Filed Coaching Education program in 1983 the goal was to raise the standard of coaching. We leaned heavily on the Canadian, Australian, and British models already in existence for guidance. The program continues today, it is a sound program, in many ways it is the best program available in the United States today. Does it have holes and faults, of course. It is run entirely by volunteers, in other countries the coaching education schemes are run by paid professionals. We need to go this route with Athletic Development or there will always be confusion. My intent is to get people to think and raise the standard of coaching.


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