Coach Certification

USMS Masters Coach Certification

The USMS Coaches Committee and Program Services have developed 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 instructors. You must complete the USMS coach certification prerequisite before attending the Level 1 coach certification class. At the conclusion of the courses, USMS issues certification to successful candidates. The registration fee for the level 1-2 class is $190. The registration fee for level 3 is $225, USMS designated Masters coaches receive a $10 discount during the online registration process.

Level 4 is a portfolio-style application and has no classroom component. The body of work is scored on a point system and is based on criteria set forth by the USMS Coaches Committee. A Level 4 applicant must be a head coach or an assistant coach with significant responsibilities for their Masters team. At Level 4, we are looking for the coach to expand their influence and contributions beyond their team. There are opportunities to score points around the team and its accomplishments (such as growth and retention, team achievement in events, hosting clinics or meets). However we are also looking for the coach’s own personal growth in education, a commitment to leadership, and contributions at the local, regional or national level of Masters swimming.

Candidates for Level 4 must register and submit the Level 4 application, with supporting documentation, to a designated review panel.

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 memberships 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.

American Swimming Coaches Association

If you’re already an American Swimming Coaches Association-certified coach and have completed the ASCA Masters track prior to December 1, 2010, you’ll continue to have your Masters certification recognized by USMS, regardless of your current ASCA membership status, as long as you maintain your USMS membership. However, you’re invited to take these adult-specific courses, for which you’ll earn credits toward ASCA’s continuing education requirements. To become a USMS-certified Masters coach, you must:

  • Be a member of USMS
  • Attend the Masters coach certification course
  • Successfully complete the end-of-course tests

USMS values ASCA’s service as an advocate for the swim coach profession and the sport of swimming and encourages all swim coaches to consider ASCA membership. ASCA recognizes the USMS Masters coach certification course and will issue ASCA Masters coach certification to their members who:

  • Attend the USMS Masters coach certification course
  • Submit the required documents to ASCA: the ASCA Certified Masters Coach application and the completed tests from any USMS coach certification courses. You may contact to obtain the ASCA Certified Masters coach application after you complete the USMS Coach Certification course. 

USMS-Certified Masters Coach Designation

Once you've become a certified coach, we recommend that you enhance your USMS membership with a special certified coach designation. This will ensure that you continue to receive the recognition and opportunities designed for our professional Masters coaches.

Coaches who successfully complete any USMS coach certification class can purchase the USMS-Certified Masters Coach designation, which costs $30 per year.* This optional designation may be purchased during online registration or by updating membership at any time during the registration year. Beginnning in 2016, members who complete Level 1 and 2 coach certification will receive the designation as part of their tuition for the remainder of the calendar year in which the course was completed. Coaches with the USMS-Certified Masters Coach designation will be eligible for certain benefits, including:

  • Name and current level of certification listed at on the USMS-Certified Masters Coaches page
  • Access to stroke drill videos on the USMS website
  • Special sponsor discounts
  • One-on-one support from USMS’s education services department
  • STREAMLINES for Coaches monthly eNewsletter
  • Discounts on USMS continuing education courses
  • Eligibility for hospitality passes at the USMS Spring and Summer National Championship events (other requirements apply)
  • Select volunteer opportunities and special coaching assignments at the FINA World Masters and Pan-American Masters Championships
  • Teaching opportunities in the Masters track at the ASCA World Clinic

+++IMPORTANT—NEW for 2016+++

Beginning with the 2016 membership year we’re eliminating the “Recognized Coach” designation that any coach, USMS-certified or not, was able to purchase. In its place we’ve created the above-described USMS-Certified Masters Coach designation, which will be available only to coaches who’ve achieved USMS Coach Certification Levels 1, 2, 3, or 4. 

More Information

Contact Education Director Bill Brenner for more information regarding coach certification.

*Any eligible member who selects both the USMS-Certified ALTS Instructor and the USMS-Certified Masters Coach designations will receive the benefits of both designations for the annual fee of $30.

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