Even before advancements were made in communication, professionals in all industries, including coaching, worked hard to network and cooperate with likeminded professionals worldwide. Coaches benefit their programs and teams through sharing strategies and methods with other coaches. Today it is easier than ever for coaches to interact with tools such as smartphones, the internet, and video-chat. These groups of coaches vary in vision and organization, yet they share the same foundation – provide coaches with resources, community, training, and networking opportunities.
There are many coaching/athletic associations available to coaches. Some associations require paid memberships, while others require active participation from their members. They also differ in purpose, as some are more focused on professional education and others are involved in athletic competition organization. There are associations for college and professional coaches, and many are reserved for interscholastic coaches.
Along with annual conventions, meetings, and ceremonies celebrating outstanding coaching, most associations provide an online service from the association’s website as well. These online resources are invaluable for coaches looking for recent resources, news, and information. Learn about the following associations and how they help coaches succeed.
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS fulfills multiple athletic purposes as one of the largest, most comprehensive associations. For nearly a century it has developed, promoted, enriched, and encouraged interscholastic sports and academic achievement. NFHS is the national authority responsible for creating, publishing, and upholding competition rules along with keeping academics a priority. Safety, fair play, and fun are part of the association’s values, establishing positive, integrity-driven examples for coaches to follow.
Although athletic administrations actively participate with the NFHS, coaches can also find NFHS valuable due to the specific training and resources that the organization provides. To support coaching as the backbone of interscholastic athletics, NFHS provides online resources and articles, development opportunities, networking, and updated data analysis of the athletic landscape.
National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA)
Originally founded for the purpose of a wrestling event, the NHSCA grew quickly to encompass many sports as a nonprofit, coach-specific association. Its mission is to lead and assist coaches because they are “centers of influence”. The NHSCA encourages coaching professionalism throughout the nation and claim that they offer more online coaching education programs than any other athletic organization.
Coaches will find that the NHSCA supports its commitment to professionalism by attending their Character and Leadership Workshops, or reading their magazine: The Coach’s Quarterly. NHSCA-conducted events are also controlled by coach feedback, making them events for coaches, by coaches.
National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)
The NABC formed when, in 1927, the governing Joint Basketball Rules Committee attempted to remove dribbling from the sport. After preventing the attempted radical modification, they have contributed countless times to collegiate basketball. They established the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the NCAA tournament format, and the Guardians of the Game education program. Their goals range from unifying coaches on basketball issues, to providing holistic services that meet any coach’s needs.
Coaches can read personal success stories on their official site, and learn more about the Guardians of the Game. Guardians of the Game is an awareness and education program run by the NABC bringing focus to the influential role of coaching. The program celebrates coaches and provides them with a positive platform they can implement within their team, program, and community.
National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA)
The NDIAA is a younger association as it was established ten years ago. However, their mission and provisions have already benefited the deaf athletic community. On an annual basis, the association recognizes coaches, athletic administrators, and athletes from schools for the deaf to promote awareness and celebrate their efforts and hard work. Additionally, they are the lead provider of information about deaf interscholastic sports.
Coaches who work with programs for the deaf can find resources, training opportunities, networking, and professional development through the NDIAA. It is a strong example of other specific athletic associations dedicated to the development of coaches within their community.
National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA)
The NISCA is an association for coaches involved in aquatic sports like swimming, diving, and water polo. They provide networking opportunities for coaches and promote their exchange of knowledge. Coaches are given a helpful manual highlighting their role and responsibility as an NISCA member. Their vision is for all aquatic coaches to coach with integrity, professionalism, and to the athlete’s benefit.
In addition, they help spread awareness and participation with the Special Olympics. Coaches looking to help or give their athletes more information on volunteering can find the information and official links on the NISCA site.
Successful coaches know they can’t coach alone. It takes cooperation and a culture of learning to fulfill the role of a coach. Through active participation in these associations and frequent utilization of the resources they provide, coaches can become leaders in the field. Without them, coaches may struggle to keep up with the ever-changing coaching environment.
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