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Level 3 Program

The Level 3 program is the highest level of the USATF Coaching Education Program.  It encompasses the scientific base, included in the previous levels, while providing coaches with comprehensive knowledge in a specific event group. Level 3 courses include some of the world’s best instruction, preparing an individual to coach at the national and international level.

USATF currently offers one pathway to becoming a Level 3 Coach, the USATF / IAAF Academy.

USATF / IAAF Academy

Course Structure

The USATF / IAAF Academy is a high level seminar held in conjunction with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF). The Academy is the highest recognized achievement awarded through both organizations and recognizes a coach throughout the world as having the knowledge to coach at the highest international levels of the track & field profession.

The Academy has traditionally been held the first week of December at the  Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center or IMG Academy. The curriculum is focused on one event area (Jumps, Sprints/Hurdles, Throws, Endurance, etc.) and includes five days of intense academic work. Coaches are required to complete four individual assignments and implement a project in the six months following the course. Coaches who complete the Academy requirements are awarded a USATF Level 3 certificate and a Level V certificate from the IAAF.

*Any coach who has successfully completed a (Level 3) certification course from USATF is welcome to state that said coach is Level 3 certified by USATF. However, USATF does not provide those coaches with any logos or other USATF intellectual property for marketing purposes.


  • Coaches living in the United States must have successfully completed the USATF Level 2 Course for the specified event group.
  • International coaches must have successfully completed the IAAF Coaches Education and Certification System (CECS) Level III or IV course. International coaches must also secure an endorsement from their National Federation, and have letters of recommendation from the Federation submitted with application
  • Minimum 5 years of coaching experience.
  • All coaches must be actively coaching track & field.

Canadian Coaches

  • Certified at Level 3 or Competition Development certified (CC# required)
  • Three to five year’s experience working with athletes competing at the national level
  • Branch endorsement (Athletics Canada will contact your provincial branch upon receipt of your application)
  • Statement of coaching philosophy and explanation of how concepts presented at this seminar will be shared with others upon your return to your club/school/province
  • A coaching resume outlining coaching assignments, athletes they are currently coaching or have coached and their performances, etc.


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