Following a review of coach education in Snow Australia has restructured the way that coach education is delivered across all disciplines. The new structure includes both generic and discipline specific Snow Australia online modules, face-to-face discipline specific practical sessions, as well as mandatory external online modules delivered by Sport Australia and other national expert bodies.
The first roll-out of the new accreditation system will be at the Foundation level during 2019. As higher level components become available they will be promoted via Snow Australia’s distribution channels and detailed in the Coaching section of the Snow Australia website.
Coaching is the foundation of participation and performance in any sport. Snow Australia’s Foundation Level Cross Country coaching courses are aimed at instructors, teachers, parents, ex-athletes and other prospective winter sport coaches beginning their coaching journey.
This new entry level Cross Country Coach Level 1 Accreditation is a combination of the old Level O and Level 1 courses. The course consists of both internal Snow Australia and external online components, as well as face-to-face practical sessions. Most of the theoretical components are delivered in new Snow Australia online courses, which consist of bite-size modules.
To become accredited as a XC Coach Level 1 you will need to:
* External requirements or online modules
In addition, all active Snow Australia coaches are required to have current Snow Australia Coach membership, which provides them with access to the Snow Australia Coaching Portal and other member benefits. Snow Australia Coach membership can be renewed annually, or be acquired as an add-on to other Snow Australia membership categories. In addition to providing access to Snow Australia’s online courses, the Snow Australia Coaching Portal displays each coach’s progress towards certification and includes where appropriate certificates of both participation and accreditation.
The XC Coach Level 1 Dryland Workshop is designed for coaches, teachers and parents working with athletes at club or interschool level, and focuses on dryland preparation for the winter. Training techniques covered include ski bounding, roller skiing and strength training. Participants will come away with a basic technical knowledge of the sport, dryland skill development progressions, and easy to follow lesson plans to help engage and prepare athletes for when the snow starts falling.
The course is normally delivered over four hours by an accredited coach of minimum Level 1 endorsed by the National Coaching Director. Typically a minimum of five participants are required for a Level 1 Course to be run.
The XC Coach Level 1 On-Snow Technique Workshop is designed for coaches, teachers and parents working with athletes at club or interschool level, and focuses on on-snow technique development.
The course is normally delivered over one day or two half-days by an accredited coach of minimum Level 1 endorsed by the National Coaching Director. Typically a minimum of five participants are required for a Level 1 Course to be run.
The XC Coach Level 1 Cross Country Fundamentals Online Course is designed for coaches, teachers and parents working with athletes at club or interschool level, and provides participants with the skills and confidence to tackle the practical course components and get started on their journey in the SSA Coaching Pathway. Covered topics include classic and freestyle techniques, competition formats, basic skills and training methods, athlete and coaching pathways, an introduction to equipment and waxing, and competition rules.
The course is to be delivered online via the SSA Coaching Portal and is expected to become live during the 2019 Australian winter.
The XC Coach Level 2 Accreditation is designed for coaches working at state or national level. Candidates must have completed the Cross Country Coaching Level 1 or hold a Sports Coaching or equivalent degree, and have been actively cross country ski coaching for at least 12 months. The new content and delivery mechanisms of the Level 2 accreditation are still being finalised. The old Level 2 course included the following content:
Assessment was based on submitted written material and practical competencies demonstrated to assessors.
To assist SSA coaches with their ongoing professional development and updating requirements Coaching Workshops in specific areas are held periodically. Presenters in the workshops may be current ski coaches, experts in different sport science fields, or coaches from other sports.
Recently covered topics at Workshops include:
These in-house workshops are available to all registered coaches, though depending on the content athletes or others in the cross country skiing community may also be invited.
Up until 2018 SSAXC had three levels of coach courses: Level 0, Level 1 and Level 2. Level 0 was a basic introductory into cross country ski coaching, while Level 1 and Level 2 were fully accredited courses with the Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia).
Under Snow Australia’s coach education system coaches could be registered, trained and accredited. Registered coaches were required to sign up to be on Snow Australia’s coaching database, complete the ASC Community Coaching General Principles course online, and to have attended at least one of the coach course modules. Trained coaches had attended all the coaching course modules for the relevant level, and be in the process of gaining their practical coaching hours and completing assessments. Accredited coaches had completed all the required assessments and practical coaching hours for their coach level.
Once accredited, coaches need to complete updating requirements every four years to retain their accreditation.