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Level 1 Program

The Level 1 course is the cornerstone of the USATF Coaching Education Program. It establishes a common ground amongst coaches by developing a language specific to the track and field coaching community.  The program covers all events in a straightforward manner by emphasizing fundamentals, rules, safety/risk management, and instruction techniques. Certified by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE), the course prepares an individual to coach at the junior high school, high school, club, and junior age division level.
Course Structure

The cost for a Level 1 school is $210.00 for early-registration or $260.00 after the early-registration deadline. Schools are typically two-and-a-half-day courses where 21.5 hours are spent on track & field and related sport science. The course consists of classroom instruction as well as hands-on training. In order to receive credit for Level 1 and access to the exam you must attend all classroom sessions.  
After the school, participants have 90 days and one attempt* to complete the online exam which covers event-related and sport science subjects, including content provided by USADA on coaching philosophy and PEDs. Upon passing the exam, participants will be able to download a Level 1 Certificate. Students desiring an extension to complete course work after the 90 day window closes, must request an extension before their initial deadline by submitting a $25 late extension fee online.

USATF Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - Earn 2 CEUs!

*If a passing score (80%) is not achieved on the participant's initial attempt, they may request one additional retake attempt. A $25 administration fee will accompany such request and payment must be submitted online.

To attend a Level 1 School a coach must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a current USATF membership


  1. Become a USATF Member
  2. Locate a school
  3. Complete the online registration process (visit the Coaching Education Calendar and select "Registration Information" for the school you want to attend)

Any student requesting ADA accommodations must make that request at the time of completing the application/registration, and support the request with the appropriate documentation sent to Said application/registration must be completed no later than six (6) weeks prior to the school opening in order to ensure the availability of any such reasonable accommodations or other required assistance during the Level 1 coaching school.

Elite athletes that have made a "Big Three"  team (Olympic, World Championships, or Pan American) are eligible for a 50% discount on tuition or registration fees and will be reimbursed following completion of the program. If an athlete is interested, they will need to contact the USATF Coaching Programs Coordinator.


  • Recognition as a USATF Level 1 Coach*
  • Curriculum book covering sport science and individual events
  • Skills and knowledge to coach athletes at all levels
  • Access to instructors and mentors with extensive experience
  • Qualfies for two CEUs from Indiana University 
  • Eligibility to attend a Level 2 School**

*Any coach who has successfully completed a (Level 1) certification course from USATF is welcome to state that said coach is Level 1 certified by USATF. However, USATF does not provide those coaches with any logos or other USATF intellectual property for marketing purposes.

**Must have completed a Level 1 School no later than April 30th of the year in which you are applying for summer Level 2 Schools and August 15th for winter Level 2 Schools.
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