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USA Hockey Coaching Certifications

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Old
07-06-2008, 02:56 PM
  #1
Anthony Mauro
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USA Hockey Coaching Certifications

Hey all, just have a few quick questions on the certifications offered by USA Hockey. Are they mandatory to work at any level of hockey in the US (IE. NCAA, NAHL, USHL, EJHL, AJHL, HS Prep, etc.)?

There are five levels all corresponding to different age groups..I believe level one is for 8 and under, level two is for 10 and under, etc. If someone were to get the level one certification does he/she need to have coaching experience with that age group before going and getting a level two certification?

What are your general thoughts about this program USA hockey has set up?

Thanks for any replies!

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07-06-2008, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Manhattan Blue View Post
Hey all, just have a few quick questions on the certifications offered by USA Hockey. Are they mandatory to work at any level of hockey in the US (IE. NCAA, NAHL, USHL, EJHL, AJHL, HS Prep, etc.)?

There are five levels all corresponding to different age groups..I believe level one is for 8 and under, level two is for 10 and under, etc. If someone were to get the level one certification does he/she need to have coaching experience with that age group before going and getting a level two certification?

What are your general thoughts about this program USA hockey has set up?

Thanks for any replies!
You don't need any coaching experience to get your certification. You basically pay the $30 fee, sit there for a few hours, and you're certified.

You are supposed to be certified to coach youth usa hockey, but it is rarely regulated. I know of many many coaches that are uncertified or have expired certifications yet they still coach at all levels.

For specifics, read all about it on the usahockey website, and email your regional director for any further questions.

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07-06-2008, 08:03 PM
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Pittsburgh Proud
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How old do you have to be to become certified. Because I was wondering if i could become certified this year or if i had to wait.

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07-06-2008, 08:25 PM
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LilWinger11
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Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Proud View Post
How old do you have to be to become certified. Because I was wondering if i could become certified this year or if i had to wait.
How old are you? Even if you can't coach yet, a lot of rinks run learn-to-skate or learn-to-play clinics specifically for hockey and they might be happy to have you. Even in a regular learn-to-skate program, hockey players can certainly teach the first few levels before they start to introduce figure-skating skills.

If you're under 16 you may have to try several rinks... some will let you be a helper at 14 or 15; others require anyone working with the kids to be 16. It's a lot of fun though, and it's a good way to get used to working with groups of kids if you haven't done it before.

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07-06-2008, 09:11 PM
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Felonious Python
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Proud View Post
How old do you have to be to become certified. Because I was wondering if i could become certified this year or if i had to wait.
18.

Homerocks speaks the truth. Getting certified means very little, remember that everyone else that's been certified knows it's a bit of a joke. So don't assume certification level will impress them.

At least in the southeast, you're never required to get on the ice at the clinic. Insurance reasons probably. You can stand near and watch if you feel like it.

I got my certification at 19. There is a huge disadvantage to being young, and you need to be prepared for that. You have to constantly prove yourself, when seemingly anyone older, automatically gets that respect. They're assumed they can, you're assumed you can't.

In my experience, experience for a very young coach is irrelevant. I've been in situations consistently where I've had seniority working with a group and I get passed over for the most basic responsibilities for some random parent that hops on the ice.

If you don't have a good group of coaches, it's uphill everyday.


Last edited by Felonious Python: 07-06-2008 at 09:31 PM.
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07-06-2008, 09:40 PM
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COntrary to what's been said so far, our organization is very strict with ensuring all coaches including all on ice adult (a minor who is rostered within the oraganization is permitted to help on ice) has the proper USA Hockey certification as well as an up to date background check. Too many lawyers out there not to.

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07-07-2008, 06:48 AM
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Felonious Python
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COntrary to what's been said so far, our organization is very strict with ensuring all coaches including all on ice adult (a minor who is rostered within the oraganization is permitted to help on ice) has the proper USA Hockey certification as well as an up to date background check. Too many lawyers out there not to.
Good point. Rinks can go anywhere from no interest to strict. I'm disappointed by the uninterested ones, and by the sheer amount of them. Certification can be a pain, but it keeps the riff-raff out.

My rink is in between, if it's for something like the house league, then you don't really need to have certification. For travel hockey, you do.

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07-07-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manhattan Blue View Post
Hey all, just have a few quick questions on the certifications offered by USA Hockey. Are they mandatory to work at any level of hockey in the US (IE. NCAA, NAHL, USHL, EJHL, AJHL, HS Prep, etc.)?

There are five levels all corresponding to different age groups..I believe level one is for 8 and under, level two is for 10 and under, etc. If someone were to get the level one certification does he/she need to have coaching experience with that age group before going and getting a level two certification?

What are your general thoughts about this program USA hockey has set up?

Thanks for any replies!
Well, the certification doesn't really run on age groups that you are coaching, where it generally has more to do with the level of hockey you are coaching. Some programs require that you be at least a level 3 coach, in order to coach travel at any age group. Level 1 or 2 to coach house. However, USA Hockey has recommended guide lines that you can find here:http://www.usahockey.com//Template_U...CO_02&ID=19532

Plus, for example, you have to be level 3 or above to coach High School hockey in some states. Same with College, level 3 or above.

As for the truth about some of the posts in this thread. It is true that there are a lot of coaches than don't have certification, but the ones that do have the certification get first choice of teams.

And yes, you have to go sit in class for about 8 hours for level 1,2, and 3. Level 1, you actually do some on ice training. Level 2 and 3 is just class work and participation.

Most levels 1,2,3 are done within your state at different times of the year. USA Hockey has a page there you can see all of the clinics going on throught the country. Go here: http://www.usahockey.com/viewallclinics.aspx

Level 4: I had to catch a flight to Denver, then a bus to Colorado Springs for my level 4. This is a 4 or 5 day class with hotel, airfare and meal costs at your expense.

Some youth programs will pick up the cost for you. However, I have found that it's the youth groups where you have put in time. Politics! So I shelled out the cash for myself.

Level 5: Is a National Symposium, there they only have this level maybe once every 2 years...if you are lucky. Again, I caught a flight into Grand Rapids, Michigan for this level.

5 days for class work, hotel, and food at my expense. However, I felt this was an investment in my future. Plus, at the end of this class, you have to write a Master's theses. My theses was..."How to build a youth hockey program from the ground up"

My only regret was that I waited too long to get this all done. I recommend that you get all levels as quick as you can. Plus, if you are close to one of these national events...don't miss it!

Good Luck
Head coach


Last edited by Headcoach: 07-07-2008 at 09:38 AM.
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