U.S. Masters Swimming has four levels of Masters coach certification. The courses for Levels 1, 2, and 3 are taught in classroom settings throughout the country by USMS-certified coach trainers. Level 4 is a portfolio-style application and has no classroom component.

Level 1

In Level 1, you'll be introduced to the basics of coaching and understanding the adult learner, including the different types of swimmers you'll encounter as a coach, such as triathletes and open water swimmers. You'll also learn how to write effective workouts. 

Level 2

Level 2, AKA Stroke School, is where the rubber hits the road. You'll get into the meat and potatoes of stroke technique, learning the basics of correction and development for all four competitive strokes, as well as starts, turns, and transitions. 

Level 3

In Level 3 we delve into program management, leadership, and administration. This certification focuses on the professional coach seeking to build and run a successful Masters program. Topics include budgets, support structure, event planning, special populations, dryland training, nutrition, injury prevention, and more.

Level 4

This designation is for professional coaches who have contributed to the greater Masters Swimming community. Candidates for Level 4 must register and submit the Level 4 application, with supporting documentation. A review panel will score your body of work on a point system based on criteria set forth by the USMS Coaches Committee. Areas scored are leadership, contributions, education, achievement, and growth and retention.

USMS Masters coach certification does not expire and will be listed on your USMS member profile as long as your USMS membership remains active. If your USMS membership lapses, USMS will not list your coach certification status during that time. Once your USMS membership is reactivated, your coach certification status will be reinstated.

Please email us if you have any questions regarding coach certification.