March 12, 2020 – By Tom Davis
The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) understands the vital role that volunteer coaches play in the success of youth shooting sports. With new teams being activated through programs such as the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) every day, the need for a simple, efficient and comprehensive path to coach certification is realized as the SSSF Basic Coach Certification Program.
The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation has worked in partnership with Kalkomey Enterprises to create ShootingSports-Ed.com, a platform for shooting sports education needs. Current course offerings include Basic Shotgun Coach and Basic Action Shooting Coach certification programs. SSSF anticipates launching other educational offerings for shooting coaches and athletes in the future.
The Basic Coach Certification Program is designed for prospective coaches wishing to start or join a youth clay target or action shooting sports team as a coach or an adult volunteer. The intuitive, primarily online-based curriculum certifies coaches to work with beginning and novice athletes involved in the shotgun sports of American Trap, American Skeet, and Sporting Clays, as well as the pistol and rifle disciplines of Action Shooting. The curricula covers information and skills needed to guide a shooting sports team such as Safety and Risk Management, Fundamental Marksmanship, Coaching Standards and Ethics, Publicity and Fundraising, and more.
The affordable, online-based curriculum is mobile-friendly and can be completed on your favorite devices anywhere in the world, 24/7/365. Both courses consist of 13 units packed with images and videos. Coach candidates can start and stop coursework at their convenience from the comfort of their home.
Coach candidates must complete a range day within 6 months of completing the online portion of the course to finalize their certification. The SSSF typically works with state partners, including DNR/Game & Fish agencies to provide the half-day range portion of the training. Range days are entirely hands-on with coach candidates shooting and coaching to learn skills that cannot be taught in a virtual environment alone.
Current state partners hosting range days in 2020 include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and New Mexico. If there is not a range day in your immediate area, you may travel to the next closest range day session, even if it is in another state. If there is adequate, local demand (minimum 20-30 coach candidates), SSSF will work with you to bring a trainer to your area.
In an effort to grow volunteer coach participation on local shooting teams, SSSF will be providing funding to team endowment accounts held at the MidwayUSA Foundation for coaches who complete an SSSF Basic Coach Course and join a local SCTP or SASP team. Teams will receive $200 in team endowment funding for each coach who successfully completes the online and range day portions of the course then subsequently registers for the first time on an SCTP or SASP team.
The SSSF Basic Coach Education Program was made possible, in part, by a multi-state grant through the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The grant project had involved numerous partners including Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, Arizona Department of Game and Fish, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, New Mexico Game and Fish Department, Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association, National Sporting Clays Association, Pheasants Forever and Larry and Brenda Potterfield.
Curricula support for the SSSF Basic Coach Education Program was provided by Adam Jardines, Annie Unsell, Blaser, Browning, Cardinal Shooting Center, Centerburg Youth Shooting Sports, CZ-USA, David Miller, Dean Townsend, Eliot Jardines, Ed Fitzgerald, Tom Yost, Steel Target Paint, GLOCK, Gnosis Solutions, Hodgdon Powders, Kalkomey Enterprises, Action Target, Ruger, NextLevel Training, Kansas City Steel Raiders, Liquid Image, Inc., Mantis, Matt Hopkins, Michelle Cerino, Mid-Carolina Young Guns, Mill Creek Rifle Club, Promatic, Rock Road Productions, SCHEELS, SIG SAUER, Thaddius Bedford, Tony Monzingo, White Flyer and Winchester.
For more information or to start your Basic Shooting Coach Certification, go to www.ShootingSports-Ed.com.