What is a USA Archery Certification?

Coach Woody is the proud owner of a USA Archery Level 3 NTS Coach certification and all the knowledge that comes with it, but what the heck does that mean?

Since Archery Instructors and Coaches are the foundation of USA Archery’s programs, camps and the athlete development pipeline, USA Archery has developed a certification system with 5 levels to ensure instructors and coaches teach to a common standard with a level of competency.  USA Archery, the National Field Archery Association and the Archery Shooters Association jointly recognize all certification levels.

Let’s take a look at the levels and what they mean:

Level 1 Instructor – This instructor has the necessary tools to maintain a high level of safety on and off the archery range and understands the minimum standards for archery instruction to provide for the safety and enjoyment of participants, instructors, and spectators.  These Instructors often lead archery clubs at schools, instruct/monitor beginners at camps or Boy/Girl Scout events, or teach local beginning archery classes along side more experienced coaches.  Level 1 education is excellent for people who are becoming serious about archery for themselves and want to spread the love of the sport to others.

Level 2 Instructor – This instructor has been introduced to the National Training System (NTS) steps of shooting for recurve and compound, equipment and accessory setup, and basic athlete development. This is the basic level of certification necessary to operate an official JOAD, Explore Archery, or Adult Archery program.

Level 3 NTS Coach – This coach has advanced beyond basic group instruction to focus on individual athlete development.  Coaches have been trained in coaching  philosophy, event preparation, mental skills, training cycles with plans, equipment tuning and have received advanced training on the NTS for Recurve and Compound.

Level 4 NTS Coach – This certification is for coaches who want to be eligible to coach within the USA Archery National Development Program and be members of International Team Staff.  These coaches study sports science applications in archery, psychology and biomechanics with a large emphasis on the NTS.  These are coaches who will develop athletes to the Olympic and  professional international competition level.

Level 5 NTS Coach – The highest level of achievement, these are coaches who complete a course of study personally administered by the head coach of USA Archery.  These coaches have personally coached three or more archers to one or more of the following:

  1. JOAD National podium place,
  2. Collegiate National podium place,
  3. Cadet USAT top-10 ranking,
  4. Jr. USAT top-10 ranking,
  5. Sr. USAT top-10 ranking or
  6. Olympic, World or International team member

Additionally, to be eligible for Level 5, coaches must have served as a Coach twice for the Junior Dream team, JOAD, Para or Resident Athlete programs, and traveled as a coach or team lead to at least 2 international events during their Level 5 candidacy.

As far as we know, there are fewer than 10 Level 5 Coaches. This is a rare honor.

For more information, please follow this link to the USA Archery website