This guide will get you started.
We outline steps to become a certified USAH coach!
Maybe your son or daughter is thinking about playing hockey. Maybe you played, and would like to give back. Whatever your reason, we’re here to start your USA Hockey coaching journey on a successful path.
Here is a guide for USAH coaching certification:
- Register with USA Hockey (Save your number)
- Create a Coaching account (You’ll need your USAH number)
- Sign-up for a CEP Level 1 seminar
- Sign-up for an on-line module
- SafeSport (You’ll need your USAH number, and an email address)
USA Hockey Registration
All coaches, players, referees, and volunteers must be registered with USA Hockey. USA Hockey is the only official governing body of hockey in the United States. The cost is $45, and takes about 10 minutes to complete. This is an annual requirement. Save and print your USA Hockey number.
Create a coaching account.
You will need your USA Hockey Number during this process. Cost is free, and takes about 10 minutes.
Register for a Level 1 Seminar
Once you have established an account, search for a Coaching Education Program (CEP) Level 1 seminar. Coast is usually $45, but can vary depending on location. Courses are offered by USAH affiliates. Read the course requirements. Some have an on-ice portion.
If there is an on-ice component, you must have:
NOTE: Wear, or bring, comfortable clothing if there is an on-ice portion. Sweatshirts and sweatpants are far more comfortable than jeans for skating.
Register for an Age-Specific Module
Sign-up for an on-line “Age-Specific Module.” If you are unsure of the level you will be coaching, start with the 8U (formerly Mite) module. Many changes have occurred at this level in recent years. It would be helpful for all coaches to understand the new methodology employed at this level. On-line modules cost $10 each, and take about 6 hours to complete. You can do portions at a time. It does not have to be completed in one sitting.
Register for SafeSport Training
Register for, and complete SafeSport Training. This course was developed and produced by the United States Olympic Committee. The Cost is free, and takes about 2 hours to complete. This is a USA Hockey requirement. You will need your USA Hockey number and your email address to register.
What is the difference between the seminar and module?
We like to explain it this way. The CEP–the seminar– is your “License” to coach. The age-specific module is your certification, for a particular age group. To be a certified coach, you need both.
If you think of a doctor, it is similar. A doctor needs a license to practice medicine. Doctor’s also get a certification in their area of expertise.
Do I really need both?
How long are modules good for?
Age-specific modules do not expire. At this point, they are good for life.
How long are CEP Levels good for?
- Level 1–Expires after 1 year
- Level 2–Expires after 1 year
- Level 3–Expires after 2 years, can be renewed
- Level IV–Does not expire
Can I do more than one per year?
No. USA Hockey only allows one CEP Level per year.
I never played hockey, but my organization needs coaches….
That’s okay. Thanks for stepping-up! The level 1 clinic will give you many of the basics. It will provide a good foundation for you. You can build on that.
What can I do before my Level 1 clinic, so I’m better prepared?
Great question! There are several things you can do. Here are 6:
- Go skating! The better you skate, the better off you’ll be
- Watch some hockey on television
- Watch hockey on you tube
- Become familiar with the resources on USAHockey.com
- Check-out your state or regional USAH-affiliate website
- Check out the Behind the Bench–our Coach’s Page–on HockeyDawg.com
I know hockey, why do I do I have to do this?
The bad answer: We had to do it, so should you.
The easy answer: ‘Cause USA Hockey said so, and they have the power.
The better answer: You may know hockey, but teaching the game is different than watching or playing it. You will pick-up so many things in both the seminars and the modules; it is certainly worth your time. No one knows everything. The more tools you can put in your toolbox, the better coach you will be. One common characteristic of coaches at all levels, is their desire to improve. This is a great way to improve and expand your knowledge.
But I’m just an assistant coach, do I have to do this?
Yes. USA Hockey does not differentiate between a head coach or an assistant. ALL coaches have to complete the same curriculum. They want everyone working with hockey players to have the same knowledge base.
Okay, Coach, I get it. Where can I learn more?
Once you have registered for your required courses. Start by doing the Module and SafeSport. These are requirements and should be taken care of first. Upon completion, check out Behind the Bench, our Coach’s page. You will find web resources, books, and other materials to help you on your new career as a hockey coach!
What else should I do?
Welcome to the club! We hope you find this as rewarding and satisfying as we do.