What is USA Baseball’s coaching certification?
The USA Baseball Coaches Certification Program is designed to ensure that coaches who are applying their knowledge within the participation stream of the sport are educated to a level where they can effectively design, manage and instruct training sessions based on sound coaching principles and contemporary baseball philosophies.
How does the USA Baseball Coaches Certification program compare to the existing Baseball Australia accreditation?
The existing Baseball Australia accreditation was originally written as a three step accreditation, with a fourth step added over time to support coaches delivering training sessions for performance players. The USA Baseball Coaches Certification Program is primarily focused on participation baseball, and is more aligned with the original focus of the Baseball Australia certification. The table below better represents how the accreditation and certification align.
I have another two years left on my current accreditation. Are you telling me I now need to do the new one as well?
Not immediately. Your existing accreditation will be valid from the date you received the accreditation through to the date of expiry per the current system. For renewal, you will be required to shift to the new certification.
What does the transition look like?
From today, you may commence registration and progression through the USA Baseball Coaches Certification Program. You may complete Certifications A and B in their entirety now, and the course work of Certification C. The practical assessment will be available from January 2021.
What does this mean in terms of eligibility for me to coach at different levels of baseball?
Baseball Australia mandates that you have achieved certain levels of accreditation for Little League, Australian Youth Championships and National teams. These levels will be valid against the current accreditation through to the conclusion of Little League in 2021. From that date, the following will apply:
What is the cost of the certification?
Under the current accreditation, Baseball Australia requires a fee for each level attained. Under the new certification, there is no cost to undertake Certification A, B or the course work of C. The practical assessment required to complete certification C may require costs to cover the assessors time. This will be outlined from January 2021.
What are the advanced modules beyond Certification C?
The intent behind the shift in certification is to support best practice at a participation club level. Advanced training and competition environments such as state team representation, performance pathway programs and national programs require advanced training that goes beyond the general principles provided within the three levels of certification. In addition, the roles coaches fulfil in these environments can be highly specialised, and as such, training should be aligned to these specialist outcomes. Baseball Australia will work directly with each state to ensure that opportunities are granted to coaches that fall into this category. These training modules are available to all members across the country, and made available to all members on request noting that there are fees associated with undertaking these advanced courses.
What is the Working with Children check and the Sport Australia General Principle course?
It is a governmental requirement that all coaches in Australia undertake the Sport Australia General Principle course. This course outlines your primary duty of care responsibilities. All coaches must complete this course for their Certification to be recognised by Baseball Australia and State Associations. Working with Children checks are required for any coach who may be instructing players under the age of 18 in accordance with the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Child Safety. Considering coaches do not necessarily have control on the age demographic of players they are coaching, from 1 July 2020 it is mandatory for all coaches to obtain a valid Working with Children Check. A photocopy of this check shall be kept with organisation that is engaging a coach. These records must be produced upon request by either the state association or Baseball Australia.
I’ve been coaching for years. Why do I need to be certified?
Effective coaching requires the combination of contemporary knowledge, and the application of sound coaching skills. Both of these requirements evolve over time, and constant training is required to ensure that coaches are up to date with their knowledge base, and their practical application.
Can I have my previous experiences recognised?
No. All coaches must undertake the new certification. Please do not request this as permission will not be granted.
I was previously a high performance player (professional/college/ABL). I don’t need to go through these courses.
Previous playing experience may put you in a position of knowledge of in-game strategy and advanced skill sets greater than those who have not played at high levels. However, this experience does not provide you with the communication skills, the progression application or the planning structure to become an effective coach. Regardless of you previous playing history, you will be required to complete certification.
What are the other learning modules on the USA Baseball site? Can I work through them as well?
Yes you can. They are available to you free of charge and will complement the course work contained in the certification.
How can I check to see whether a coach has completed the certification?
Coaches may search for their certification status by clicking here.
The search also provides status updates as coaches are progressing through certification.
Are there additional tools to help me with my coaching?
Yes. USA Baseball has an outstanding coaching app free to download for all coaches. Baseball Australia strongly recommends that all coaches download and utilise this app for the design and storage of training sessions. It has a number of standard sessions already installed, and it provides outstanding video and instructional aids to enhance the quality of training sessions. Baseball Australia is working with USA Baseball for our own version of this app that will be available before the end of 2020.