Certification and Testing

By seeking education and having your efforts recognized through certification, you are demonstrating to your team that you are working to provide them with the highest opportunity to successfully pursue the fantastic lifestyle of cross country skiing, and you are ensuring that the environment you create for them will allow their talent to blossom to its brightest colors.  The USSA recognizes that educated, knowledgeable, passionate and motivated coaches are the backbone to the program.  The USSA Cross Country Coach Certificiation Program is designed to provide coaches with the knowledge and experience needed at each step to be a great coach.


Level 100 Certification

Level 100 certification is recommended for coaches working with all ages and levels of cross country skiing, from youth to adult and introductory level to world class.  It is designed for the coach to learn the fundamentals for effective coaching in cross country skiing and to demonstrate basic knowledge in these areas.

The following steps are required for Level 100 certification:

This is the first level of a multi-level cross country-specific coaches education certification system. The curriculum is based on up-to-date practices used by the U.S. Ski Team in the quest for Olympic medals. The course material comes directly from the team’s coaches and several of their key partners.

Starting in the 2009/10 season, the U.S. Ski Team will begin to require Level 100 certification for coaches to attend World Juniors / U23 and J1 Scandinavian Championships. Ultimately, the goal is for regions, clubs, teams and employers of public and private high schools to require certification for employment. An educated coach is a better coach, and coaches who are participating in a curriculum based on the best practices from throughout the sport science world will ensure that the U.S. Ski Team reaches the goal of winning at all levels.

* USSA honors several First Aid and CPR certifications, including the American Red Cross. ASEP offers an excellent Sport First Aid course on-line that meets the First Aid requirement. Check with USSA Sport Education with questions and send copies of certification to or fax to 435.940.2790.


Level 200 and Beyond

The Level 200 curriculum and resources are currently being developed.  Level 200 will focus primarily on physiology and training methods for developing cross country skiers.

In addition to the USSA curriculum being developed, Level 200 coaches will need to complete the Coaching Principles course offered by ASEP.  This on-line course comes with one of the best general coaching manuals available that is an essential resource in any coaching library.  For more information about this course and to order, click here.

NOTE: The NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course no longer will be accepted for the Coaching Principles requirement.  Coaches who completed the NFHS course prior to October 31, 2011, will receive credit, but are encouraged to purchase the Successful Coaching book by Rainer Martens and ASEP, or the Cornerstones of Coaching book by U.S. Ski Team sport psychology consultant Jon J. Hammermeister to keep in your library as a coaching resource.