Pennsylvania coach certification ramping up; Co-op course buys provide substantial discounts

Author: Human Kinetics Coach Education Marketing


Nearly 200 coaches recently participated in a coach training and certification session held at Williamsport High School, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Coaches braved harsh weather conditions to attend the Coaching Principles and Sport First Aid clinics, December 30, 2017, conducted by instructors Kristin Black, Panther Valley School District, and Bob Bozzuto, North Allegheny High School.

For Black, the classes at Williamsport were the largest she has taught to date, with almost 100 coaches per clinic. But even with the large class size, “The coaches were enthusiastic in their participation and about the content being covered,” she said. Teaching in a larger school district offered a new experience for Black as well. She explained, “I appreciated the opportunity to teach in a district larger than my own, exposing me to a greater diversity of sports than what I am accustomed to.”

After the event, participating coaches and district administrators reached out to Black indicating that they could not have been more pleased with how the classes went. “It was positive affirmation for me that my time and effort in preparing to teach the class was worth it and that it made the class a valuable, worthwhile experience for coaches in attendance.”

A mandate instituted by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) requires all coaches to gain certification by July 2018. In advance of the deadline, hundreds of proactive athletic directors in the state have become certified to teach Coaching Principles and Sport First Aid in the classroom setting, the preferred training method of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association (PSADA). Thousands of Pennsylvania coaches have already been trained, and thousands more are poised to gain their certification leading up to the July deadline.

Last fall, cooperative-buying initiatives coordinated by Billy Simms (Tri-County Athletic Directors Association) and Bozzuto leveraged the buying power of 21 and 24 Pennsylvania school districts respectively. By purchasing more than 2,000 classroom courses, each cooperative qualified for a substantial discount. Another Bozzuto-led cooperative buy was finalized this month between 32 school districts located in Western Pennsylvania. The sale covered training for more than 1,600 coaches; totaling 3,200 courses.

Cooperative-buying plans such as these can be duplicated in other participating states. Accepted by more than 30 state high school associations and state departments of education as meeting coaching education and certification requirements, Coaching Principles and Sport First Aid are delivered as classroom courses, taught by certified instructors, as well as online. In most cases, classroom instructors are high school athletic directors who oversee coaching education and certification in their districts. Instructors receive free training and are provided ancillaries for conducting the course.

“For many athletic directors and coaches, an in-person coaching clinic is the preferred place for learning,” says Jerry Reeder, assistant director, Human Kinetics Coach Education, and liaison to state high school associations and high schools. “The ‘face-to-face’ format affords coaches the unique opportunity to discuss coaching scenarios, ask questions of instructors, share experiences with fellow coaches, and build camaraderie. Classroom instruction, in comparison to its online counterpart, also affords athletic directors the comfort of knowing when, where, what, and how coaches are taught. For these reasons, many athletic directors are going ‘old school’ and adopting or returning to classroom instruction.”

Classroom instruction has never been more affordable than it is right now. Human Kinetics Coach Education has implemented free instructor training, course discounts, and cooperative buying plans that substantially reduce the cost of educating coaches. Invest in your coaches and your student-athletes by contacting Jerry Reeder and taking advantage of this offer. Call 800-747-5698, ext. 2325 or email today to learn more about classroom and online course options for certification through Human Kinetics Coach Education.