How to Become a Certified Coach

The New NCCP in Triathlon

There are two coaching education streams within the new Triathlon NCCP program: Community Sport and Competition. These streams reflect the level and focus of athletes that coaches work within the streams.

Within Community Sport there are two contexts:

Initiation (youth/KOS athletes) and

Ongoing (adult age-group athletes, short and long distance)

Within the Competition Stream there are three contexts:

Competition Introduction (Comp Int) for coaching youth and junior athletes aiming for National level competition.

Competition Development (Comp Dev) for coaching junior and U23 athletes aiming for International competition.

High Performance for Elite and Olympic athletes competing in International competition.

The contexts align with the different phases of Triathlon Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model.

Coaches may stay in one stream or overlap and take courses from both streams. Coaches may also become experts in one context through professional development opportunities.

Coaches working with athletes at the Active Start, Fundamentals, Novice Sampling, and Active for Life stages are considered NCCP community coaches.

Coaches working with athletes in the later years (youth) of Sampling, Specializing, Investment, and Maintenance are considered NCCP competitive coaches.

The Phases of the LTAD Development Model:

Athletes begin with Active Start and Fundamentals in a variety of activities that underlie all sports. In the Sampling stage, athletes are trying different sports in the years just prior to and during puberty or the growth spurt (referred to as “Peak Height Velocity”). From Specializing to Maintenance, athletes commit to Triathlon as their full time activity and work from National to International levels. The Active for Life stream parallels the LTAD competitive phases. Athletes in age-group programs and participating in triathlon as a fitness-based activity are considered Active for Life. At any time athletes may move from the Competitive streams into Active for Life.

Where to Start: The Path to Coaching

Triathlon Canada has developed the following contexts:

Community Ongoing (adult)

Competition Introduction (Comp Intro)

Community Initiation (KOS / Youth)

Competition Development (Comp Dev)

Here is a snapshot of the path into coaching education and options for people who have prior experience and wish to challenge part or all of the process.

NOTE – although coaches may challenge the material and move directly to evaluation processes, it is highly recommended that coaches take all workshops within the process. Although there may be some review of material, the value of discussing theories with other coaches, watching others coach, and obtaining feedback about personal coaching techniques is invaluable. This can only be done through the workshops and educational experiences within the courses.

Description of Athletes and the Corresponding Coach Education Pathway

If you coach children and youth in a school, community, or camp / clinic setting: You will take the Community Initiation workshop.

If you coach children or youth and need coaching education immediately for insurance: You will take the Community Ongoing (adult) but not apply the planning section to your athletes.

If you coach any level of age-group adult or AWAD athletes (novice,intermediate, experienced, short to long distance): You will start with Community Ongoing (adult) with the option of completing Comp Intro for more practical experience.

If you coach youth athletes in high school (ages 13+) who are aiming for Canada Games and Junior National levels: You will start with Community Ongoing (adult), then Community Initiation (or challenge), then continue with Comp Intro Parts 2 and 3 (see below).

If you coach athletes who are finished their growth spurt and competing at the Junior National level: You contact Triathlon Canada for an evaluation.

The Community Process

For a community course, coaches complete a one-weekend workshop. There is no evaluation process. Coaches are considered “Trained” but not “Certified”.

The Competition Process

For Comp Intro, coaches complete three parts.

PART 1 includes a) Community Ongoing, b) Community Initiation, c) Portfolio Paper 1 (evaluation), and d) MED (Making Ethical Decisions) online evaluation.

PART 2 includes a) Part 2 weekend workshop, and b) Portfolio Paper 2 (evaluation).

PART 3 Includes an on-site evaluation including peer observation, self-analysis, and learning facilitator feedback.

If a coach meets the minimum standards on all evaluations, they become a Certified Competitive Coach and are required to re-certify every 4 years (see Triathlon Canada for requirements). If they do not meet minimum standards, they can be re-evaluated at a later date (usually after further educational and practical experience has been gained)

For information on becoming a Learning Facilitator, click here