In recent years, large scale sport organizations and national governing bodies have produced coaching education programs to prepare coaches to teach and mentor athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine: a) track & field coaches’ familiarity with the National Standards for Sport Coaches, b) the alignment of United States Track & Field (USATF) Developmental, Level I, and Level II coaching education programs with the National Standards for Sport Coaches, and c) the alignment of USATF Developmental, Level I, and Level II coaching education programs with coaches’ perceived needs for subject matter training. A 39-item survey was administered during a USATF certification course to measure coaches’ familiarity and perceptions. The results showed the vast majority of coaches (75.2%) were not familiar with the National Standards. At the time of assessment, the Developmental, Level I, and Level II courses were partially aligned with 25 of 40 standards at the Level 1, Level 3, or Level 5 accreditation levels. The courses were not aligned with 15 of 40 standards at any accreditation level. The majority of deficiencies existed in Domain 2: Safety and Injury Prevention, Domain 7: Organization and Administration, and Domain 8: Evaluation. While the USATF coaching education curriculum is partially aligned with many, but not all, of the national standards, the curriculum appears to contain subject matter training that coaches perceived as needed. Curricular revisions, including future directions of the USATF coaching education program, such as new courses and innovative use of technology, are presented.
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