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Quick Facts

  • Course Name: Coaching Assistant

  • Environment: On-Track

  • Age Requirement: 16

  • Assessment: No

  • Pre-requisites: None, a great first step for new coaches

  • Once qualified will I require supervision: Yes

  • Looking ahead what’s next: Athletics Coach

  • Alternatives: LiRF- if you wish to assist purely in an off-track environment.

  • Lunch: Not included. (We cannot guarantee that all venues have refreshment facilities so please bring lunch and a drink with you).

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Ready to book onto your local course?

Simply click here to start searching for your nearest course.

Where Does Coaching Assistant Lie On The Coach Development Pathway?

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The Coaching Assistant Award is located on the ‘Assistant’ tier of the ‘On-Track’ Coach Development Pathway. This award has been designed as an entry point into coaching. There are no pre-requisites to attend this award. As a licensed Coaching Assistant you will be required to work under the guidance of a supervising coach.

British Athletics and the Home Country Athletics Associations promote a culture of coaching co-operation and collaboration by providing further opportunities for formal learning and coach development. The Coaching Assistant programme is a formal step towards becoming a licensed Coach, however this is only the first step of the coach development journey.


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The award is aimed at those who are looking to operate in an on-track environment.

Coaches who opt for this pathway will obtain an introduction to coaching athletic events via a range of run, jump and throw activities.

On successful completion of the two-day attendance only course, a Coaching Assistant will be required to work under the direct supervision of a Coach (visual or audible range). To meet the insurance terms of the Coaching Assistant license, the Assistant should not be left on another side of the facility away from the Supervising Coach. (If javelin, hammer, discus or pole vault is being taught then DIRECT supervision is required).

Am I The Right Person For The Course?

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To be eligible for this course you must be 16 years or over. The Coaching Assistant Award is aimed particularly at adults, athletes, ex-athletes and parents who are working with athletes who fall within the Fundamentals and Event Group Development stages of the athlete development model.

An important point to note is that this course is not about individual athletics events. Coaching Assistants will not learn how to develop pole vault, but will be introduced to the movement and mechanical principals of running, jumping and throwing as a basis for success in all athletic events. The Award covers the core coaching skills of demonstration, observation, analysis and feedback.

For a coaching license to be processed, coaches require a current police record check, DBS and UKA Safeguarding module. Checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore UKA must have a new check made. The DBS itself is free for club volunteers. For details on how to arrange a DBS check please click here.

Following a directive from the Child Protection in Sport Unit, UKA has introduced a mandatory safeguarding module. The module is a short (1-2) hour bespoke module in partnership with EduCare which is available on the UKA and HCAFS booking platform.

What Is The Role Of The Coaching Assistant?

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A Coaching Assistant has many different roles.

  • Supporting a Coach in the delivery of athletics sessions. This may be working alongside an Athletics Coach or Event Group coach, so Coaching Assistants require a wide range of knowledge.

  • Delivering units of a session on behalf of a Supervising Coach. (Although a Supervising Coach must always be present, a Coaching Assistant may coach in another area of the venue as long as they are delivering a session created by the Supervising Coach).

  • At the end of the course, the Coaching Assistant should be in a position to contribute to the planning of sessions.

  • In advance of a session, the Coaching Assistant should receive detailed guidance from the Supervising Coach on the session content, goals and focus. This could be in the form of a selection of task cards or a session plan from which to work. Prior to the session there should be an opportunity for the Supervising Coach and the Coaching Assistant to discuss any questions or issues that may have arisen.

What’s The Structure Of The Course?

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The course structure is summarised below:

  • Attend the two day course (9am-5pm)

  • Submit DBS form.
  • UKA Safeguarding module

  • Once all the above elements have been completed you will receive your Coaching License.

The course is run over two full days (9-5pm). The day consists of a mix of classroom and practical sessions. There is an element of physical activity throughout the day so you should come dressed for light exercise. Throughout the day you will be expected to actively participate in sessions for example, leading groups running task card activities and acting as athletes whilst others are leading. At the end of the second day there is the opportunity for coaching practice. You will deliver a set activity from a task card or session plan. You can prepare for this by familiarizing yourself with the layout of the task cards before attending the course.

What Topics Are Covered?

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Below is a summary of the topics covered on the Coaching Assistant Award:

  • The role of the Coaching Assistant

  • Working relationship with Supervising Coach

  • Session structure

  • Fundamental Movement Skills

  • Basic mechanics of running, jumping and throwing

  • Coaching interventions

  • Coaching styles

  • Athlete development

  • Behaviour management and its effect on group management

  • Factors influencing performance

  • Energy systems

  • Coaching Skills: Organisation, Safety, Instruction & Explanation, Demonstration, Observation & Analysis, and Feedback.

How Should I Prepare For The Course

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Once candidates have registered for the programme, they must complete a UKA DBS check. A license cannot be issues without a DBS check. For details on how to arrange this check please click here.

Prior to attending the course, prospective Coaching Assistants are required to complete pre- course tasks which can be found in the Induction Pack. This induction process (which also requires the help of the Supervising Coach) should take no more than two hours to complete. Those registering on the course are strongly advised to book in advance to allow sufficient time to complete the pre-course requirements.

Coaching Assistant Pre Course Induction Tasks (PDF File, 4221KB)

Are There Any Resources Available?

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All of the excellent resources for the Coaching Assistant award can be found on the Coaching Assistant Resources Page. On this page you can find resources under the following headers.

  • Pre- Course Resources
  • Post Course Resources

To view the Coaching Assistant Resource page please click here.

As A Licensed Coaching Assistant- What’s Next?

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There are many ways you can progress your coach development journey. The athlete population you wish to work with will largely influence which award you decide to take next. For example, if your working with athletes under the age of 12 the next step for you would be to take the Children’s Coach Award. Alternatively, if your working with developmental athletes the Athletics Coach Award may be more appropriate.

How do I book?

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Ready to book onto your local course?

Simply click here to start searching for your nearest course.