IESA Requires Coaching Education for K-8 Coaches

Author: ASEP Marketing


In January of this year, the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) board of directors voted to require that all members of a school’s athletic coaching staff who do not hold a valid teaching certificate must successfully complete an approved coaching education program. While the requirement is mandated to go into effect beginning with the 2009-10 school year, non-faculty coaches are encouraged to complete the requirement as soon as possible.

The two courses approved by the IESA as meeting its requirement are the American Sport Education Program’s (ASEP) Coaching Essentials and Coaching Principles courses.

IESA Coaching Essentials is being branded specifically for the IESA and will be released in August.

“Our goal at IESA is to make the interscholastic experience a more positive one for our schools and their students, and we believe that training coaches will go a long toward achieving that goal,” says Steve Endsley, IESA Executive Director. “ASEP is the premier coaching education in the nation, and we are thrilled to be working with them.”

“The ASEP Coaching Essentials course provides coaches a better understanding of their role as a coach and the expectations placed upon them,” says Julie Cochran, IESA Assistant Executive Director. “The program gives coaches a solid foundation in coaching principles to effectively help them develop their roles, first and foremost as teachers.”

IESA coaches can purchase the Coaching Essentials online course through the ASEP Web site For the price of $19.95 per coach, IESA coaches receive effective training, plus valuable reference materials that they can print and refer to for seasons to come.

Coaching Essentials introduces coaches to basic coaching principles in the following areas:

• Essential communication and motivation skills and how to develop a positive coaching philosophy;
• How to ensure safe play, establish safety plans, and provide basic injury treatment;
• Principles of teaching sports skills and guidelines for practice and game planning.

“Interscholastic athletics can be a great way to teach life skills and learn important life lessons,” adds Cochran. “The IESA is committed to improving the quality of coaching in our member schools and the IESA Coaching Essentials course, offered through ASEP, is being created to assist middle school coaches in creating a developmentally appropriate experience for students in junior high schools.”

Coaching Principles is the approved course of more than 30 state high school associations, including the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Any IESA coach who has taken Coaching Principles in the past will be grandfathered and considered certified by the IESA. New or non-certified IESA coaches who feel they might coach at the high school level in the future may elect to take Coaching Principles—a more rigorous course than Coaching Essentials—to satisfy both the IESA and IHSA requirements.

IESA membership consists of more than 700 elementary, middle, and junior high schools throughout Illinois. Participation in interscholastic statewide activities at the elementary and junior high school levels is a privilege unique to young people in Illinois education. The IESA is the only organization throughout the 50 states that is set up to exclusively govern the interscholastic activities of boys and girls at these grade levels in their schools.

IESA’s mission is to provide the leadership to ensure a wholesome, equitable setting so students in its member schools can enjoy the many positive benefits of participation in interscholastic activities. The association supports the values of sportsmanship, ethics, and integrity.

The American Sport Education Program (ASEP) is the leading provider of youth, high school, and elite-level sport education programs in the USA. Rooted in the philosophy of “Athletes first, winning second,” ASEP has educated more than one million coaches, officials, sport administrators, parents, and athletes. For more than 25 years, local, state, and national sport organizations have partnered with ASEP to lead the way in making sport a safe, successful, and enjoyable experience for all involved.

For more information on implementing ASEP sport education courses and resources, contact Jennifer Mulcahey, ASEP Sales and Implementation Manager, at 800-747-5698, ext. 2304; or e-mail