Certification and Testing

By seeking education and having your efforts recognized through certification, you are demonstrating to your team that you are working to provide them with the highest opportunity to successfully pursue the fantastic lifestyle of cross country skiing, and you are ensuring that the environment you create for them will allow their talent to blossom to its brightest colors.  The USSA recognizes that educated, knowledgeable, passionate and motivated coaches are the backbone to the program.  The USSA Cross Country Coach Certificiation Program is designed to provide coaches with the knowledge and experience needed at each step to be a great coach.

Level 100 Certification

Level 100 certification is recommended for coaches working with all ages and levels of cross country skiing, from youth to adult and introductory level to world class.  It is designed for the coach to learn the fundamentals for effective coaching in cross country skiing and to demonstrate basic knowledge in these areas.

The following steps are required for Level 100 certification:

This is the first level of a multi-level cross country-specific coaches education certification system. The curriculum is based on up-to-date practices used by the U.S. Ski Team in the quest for Olympic medals. The course material comes directly from the team’s coaches and several of their key partners.

The U.S. Ski Team requires Level 100 certification for coaches to attend World Juniors / U23 and J1 Scandinavian Championships. Ultimately, the goal is for regions, clubs, teams and employers of public and private high schools to require certification for employment. An educated coach is a better coach, and coaches who are participating in a curriculum based on the best practices from throughout the sport science world will ensure that the U.S. Ski Team reaches the goal of winning at all levels.

* USSA honors several First Aid and CPR certifications, including the American Red Cross. ASEP offers an excellent Sport First Aid course on-line that meets the First Aid requirement. Check with USSA Sport Education with questions and send copies of certification to or fax to 435.940.2790.


Level 200 Certification

The Level 200 focuses primarily on physiology and training methods for developing cross country skiers, while giving coaches more tools to teach effectively and to prepare their athletes for competition. The Level 200 education track consists of a coaching manual with contributions from over fifteen different authors who are experts in the various domains of the course. The manual also covers the coaching principles content that previously was delivered through the American Sport Education Program (ASEP), ultimately saving USSA coaches money while working toward their Level 200 certification. The new Level 200 is delivered through in person clinics by certain regional governing bodies, this is the recommended method for the certification. For those coaches who do not have an in person clinic in their area, the content can be studied online. 

To earn Level 200 certification, coaches will need to complete the following

  • Study Level 200 manual and supporting resources and attend an in-person Level 200 clinic offered regionally
  • Pass Level 200 online exam with a score of 80% or better
  • Submit a training planning assignment to be reviewed and approved by USSA Education and U.S. Ski Team coaching staff
  • Maintain current First Aid and CPR certification
  • Hold a current USSA coach membership

The Level 200 manual and online course is available here

For more information, contact USSA Sport Education.


Additional Opportunities

Head coaches, program leaders and other aspiring coaches are encouraged to attend the biennial USSA Cross Country Coaches Symposium, held in odd numbered years during the fall. Look for more information under the Education tab of the Coaches page.

The Level 300 curriculum for advanced level cross country coaches is under development.


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