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USRowing Coaching Education Program Overview

USRowing has redesigned its coaching education program. USRowing is focusing more on the practical aspects of coaching. It is important to have knowledge, but it is even more important to know how to use it.

For this reason, we established a mandatory mentoring system for every level of our coaching education. We recognize that many top international and collegiate coaches came from solid mentoring backgrounds as assistant coaches to established head coaches. Theoretical knowledge came later as a part of their self-education. There is no substitute for practical knowledge.

We have also strengthened the testing and certification requirements.

New Program Outline
1. Goals and Opportunities       

The goal of the USRowing Coaching Education Program is to provide our coaches with solid knowledge of how to run a safe workout and how to coach boats efficiently at every level from beginner to the Olympic team.

To achieve this goal, we will provide the following coaching education opportunities:

  • Level 1, 2 and 3 Certification Program.
  • Regional coaching clinics and an annual Advanced Coaches Conference.
  • Special coaching camps (mentoring camps).
  • Individual consultations with our Director of Coaching Education.

2.  Introduction to the USRowing Certification Program

The new USRowing Certification Program puts an emphasis on the practical aspects of coaching education.

The new system will introduce:

  • More practical class activities during the clinics.
  • A comprehensive exam from theoretical material learned at the clinic and online.
  • Mandatory mentoring with an experienced coach.
  • The new Level 1 structure titled “Learn to Row” is for candidates with minimal knowledge of rowing such as teachers, fitness instructors, friends, parents, etc. If you have college or club rowing experience or have coached for a year then you can bypass Level 1 and go straight to Level 2.  Level 3 is designed for head high school/club/college and pre-elite level coaches.

3.  The Learning Process

The first part of the course features “face-to-face” activities, followed by an exam. The coaches will learn through:

  • Reading the material in the manual and the required books, articles and papers prior to the course.
  • Watching suggested videos prior to the course.
  • Participating in discussions and practical activities in the classroom, such as teaching correct posture, teaching rowing technique on the erg or rowing tank, rigging, etc.

Following the clinic, the coach will work with a mentor for a set number of hours. This will include observations and discussions about technique, workouts, safety and other aspects of coaching on the water.

4. Assessment Process

There will be an exam in the assessment process:

  • A theoretical exam will take place at the end of the course. The coaches will be checked against a list of competencies.

Once the coaches have successfully completed the exam and the safety certification requirements, they will be certified at the given level.

5. Mentoring Program for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3

Mandatory mentoring for each level of our certification system is the most important part of the new education program.

Mentoring and the evaluation of the practical part of the assessment should be done as follows:

  • Level 1 (minimum of 10 hours) mentoring can be done at the local club/college with the varsity coach.
  • Level 2 (minimum of 20 hours) mentoring should be done at a different club/college with an experienced, varsity coach.
  • Level 3 (minimum of 20 hours) mentoring should be done with an experienced varsity coach in the club, during a summer camp or with the national team coaches during camps or at the training centers.


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