Yes, US Academic Triathlon is a program for middle-school students, but it wouldn’t be possible without dedicated teachers and parents who volunteer their time so their students can learn and grow.
There are a few ways to manage a USAT program at your school – if you plan to have more than one team, a Head Coach/Program Coordinator is recommended. Most importantly, this person manages registration and liaises with the national office, while ensuring the school’s program is run with fair play, civility, and good sportsmanship. The head coach can then recruit additional coaches to help with team practices and help staff Meets (each team is required to provide two experienced coaches/parents for each Meet to help the competition run smoothly).
Who makes a good USAT coach or volunteer? Anyone 16 or older (yes, high school students can help coach teams – and often former USAT competitors make the best volunteers!) who is dedicated to helping students gain leadership, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking skills.
While specific details regarding coach duties can be found in the Program Manual and our Coaching a Team page, there a few MUST’s USAT requires of its coaches:
- Coaches must set high standards of sportsmanship and fairness during and surrounding competitions. Students look to you as examples – show them what it means to be a leader and a good teammate.
- Coaches must reward good ideas and positive attitudes as they see them displayed by students of all participating schools (speaking specifically when at Meets). USAT isn’t ultimately about being “the best,” but growing as an individual. Encourage and reward any student when you see them exemplifying this ideal.
Parents, guardians, teachers, older siblings, high school volunteers, college students, and grandparents – anyone willing to give their time to the growth and education of a student can be a USAT volunteer coach. Our students – and our staff – appreciate your time and efforts!