Since 1920, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has led in the development of education programs for interscholastic sports coaching. It is the official coach education provider for its 51, state-member associations. Offering blended and online courses, the primary focus of the Indianapolis-based organization is to build awareness and support, improve the sport participation experience, help those who oversee high school sports and activities, and establish consistent standards and rules for competition. In addition, the NFHS publishes playing rules in seventeen boys’ and girls’ competitive sports, and administers fine-arts programs in speech, theater, debate, and music. It provides a variety of program initiatives that reach more than 19,000 high schools and over 11 million students involved in athletic and activity programs.
The establishment of the United States Sports Academy over 35 years ago was inspired, in part, by research findings that became known as the Blyth-Mueller Report. This study established a solid link between poor preparation of coaches and the number and severity of injuries to athletes under their charge. An essential component of preventing or minimizing injury rests with the coach. Coaching education programs give coaches the tools and resources they need for minimizing inherent risks and making sport a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
The Academy is partnered with the NFHS to provide continuing education units (CEUs) to thousands of high school coaches who have completed NFHS coaching education courses. Currently, the Academy offers CEUs for fourteen NFHS courses. Under the agreement, anyone who successfully completes one of these courses will be eligible to receive two CEUs from the Academy for $75. One CEU represents 10 clock hours of participation in a recognized continuing education program. CEUs are widely used by coaches, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to earn salary increments, promotions and to maintain certifications.
The NFHS recognizes a demand for CEUs as many states require that coaches obtain them for maintaining teacher certification. After completing an NFHS course, participants may register for their CEUs online from the Academy’s website by entering an NFHS course completion certification number. Upon registering, participants can print their official CEU certificate. You can learn more about NFHS coaching education courses at nfhslearn.com.
Ms. Smith is the Associate Dean of Continuing Education and Distance Learning at the United States Sports Academy. She is a former professional tennis player and is ranked among the top 200 teaching professionals by the Professional Tennis Registry. She holds a master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science/Sport Psychology.