Coaches Training

Due to delays and cancellations related to COVID-19, SSSF is extending the grace period between the time of online course completion and range day attendance. Those completing the online portion of the SSSF Basic Shotgun Coach or SSSF Basic Action Shooting Coach course will now have 12 months to attend the required in-person range day component.

SSSF Basic Action Shooting Sports Coach Training

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) understands the vital role that volunteer coaches play in the success of youth action shooting sports teams. With new teams being activated through programs such as the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) every day, the need for a simple, efficient and comprehensive path to action shooting coach certification is realized as the SSSF Basic Action Shooting Coach Certification Program.

The Basic Action Shooting Coach Certification Program is designed for prospective coaches wishing to start or join an 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 action shooting sports.

The affordable, online-based curriculum is mobile-friendly and can be completed on your favorite devices anywhere in the world, 24/7/365. The course consists 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 12 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.

“Our coaches and volunteers continue to be “wowed” by the support, training and resources provided by SASP. At a recent “Train the Trainer”/Coach Range Day, the enthusiasm, generosity, and professionalism of our SASP trainers was noticed by all – including our Sportsmen’s Club members, officers, and staff! Initially, we were nervous about organizing a new SASP team, planning our first matches, etc. Quickly, we learned SASP always had our back. They continue to help us do a great job for our youth and our community. The rewards of starting an SASP team keep coming and growing! We didn’t just start a new Action Shooting team this year; we joined a wonderful SASP family!”

Brian Petula, Head Coach – Lions SASP

“The SCTP Shotgun Coach Trainer Class was fantastic. I learned so much from this training which will help build our state’s shotgun coaches list. The online training will take you about 8 hours if you go straight through. Has a lot of valuable information throughout the courses. The Trainer Days were primarily spent outside on the range, which was great. The hands-on experience of teaching coaches and the level of knowledge was outstanding.”

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish


Who should take the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation’s (SSSF) Basic Action Shooting Coach Course?

The course is designed for anyone wishing to start or join an action shooting sports team as a coach or an adult volunteer. Anyone looking to learn more about action shooting sports and/or coaching the shooting sports will also benefit.

What does the course consist of?

The course requires coach candidates to complete online coursework AND a mandatory, in-person range day in order to become certified as an SSSF Basic Action Shooting Coach. The online coursework must be completed before registering for a range day session.

How long does the course take to complete?

The online portion of the course takes most coaches between ten and fifteen hours to complete. Coach candidates can start and stop the online course at their convenience. The in-person range day takes about 4.5 hours.

Is there a time limit to complete the online coursework?

The online coursework must be completed within 90 days of registering for the class.

What should I expect for the online course?

The online course has 13 units and is a mix of text, photographs, and videos. At the end of each unit, there will be a quiz. Units include Introduction, Equipment, Safety, and Risk Management, Fundamentals of Marksmanship, Coaching Action Shooting, Club / Team Formation, Publicity, and Fundraising, Coaching Standards and Ethics, The Mental Game, Developing a Season Training Plan, Range Training, Managing the Range, and SASP & Beyond.

How do I pass the course?

To pass, coach candidates must successfully complete all online coursework and each unit quiz and final exam with a score of 85% or better. Coach candidates must also pass the range day portion of the course.

What is the cost of the course?

The online course cost is $75 paid at the time of registration. The cost of the range day portion will vary and will be listed with the individual sessions.

What should I expect at the Range Day?

The range day has been designed to be hands-on and focuses on the most important aspects of action shooting coaching that cannot be effectively taught using virtual content alone. The range day is a coaching class, not a shooting class. Candidates will be evaluated on safe gun handling, attitude towards safety and participation in the learning process. Candidates will not be evaluated on shooting ability. There will be a short exam at the end of the range day and passing criteria will be based on the written exam (80% or better) and the course trainer’s evaluation of the candidate’s safety, attitude, and class participation.

How much time may pass between the time I complete the online coursework and the time I complete a range day?

Coach candidates must complete a range day within 12 months of completing the online portion of the course. If more than 12 months have lapsed, coach candidates must re-take the online course.

Where can I find scheduled range days?

You can view the current range day schedule at: https://bit.ly/BasicActionRangeDay

In what states are range days most commonly offered and how can I get a range day in my area?

The online course is available 24/7/365 to anyone in the world, however, SSSF is working hard to build more capacity to teach range days so coaches can easily complete the certification process. SSSF typically works with state partners, including DNR/Game & Fish agencies to provide range day trainings. Current state partners include the following states: AL, AZ, GA, IA, IL, IN, MO, NE, and NM where range days will be available in 2020. Additional states will be added in the future. 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. Please contact us with additional questions or for more information about range days in your area.

Who conducts the Range Day training?

Range days are conducted by trainers certified by Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation. In most states, SSSF has a strong partnership with the state game and fish / department of natural resource agency or other key partners, who assist in the selection and vetting of coach trainers. All trainers are required to successfully complete a 3-day train-the-trainer session administered by SSSF staff to become certified.

What are the age requirements to take the course?

There is no minimum age to take the online coursework. The minimum age to attend a range day is 15. Attendees aged 15-17 who successfully complete the course will earn an SSSF Junior Trainer certification. Attendees 18 and over who successfully complete the course will earn an SSSF Basic Action Shooting Coach certification.

My team does not participate in the Scholastic Action Shooting Program. Will this course fulfill the coach education requirements for my program?

While the SSSF Action Shooting Coach certification program is very comprehensive, you should check with your state and/or national program administration if you are participating in programs outside of the Scholastic Action Shooting Program or for specific criteria within your state. We encourage all teams to join and participate in the SASP!

Does the Scholastic Action Shooting Program still recognize coaching certifications from other organizations?

Yes, however we encourage all adults involved in the SASP to take the SSSF Basic Action Shooting Coach course. Please reference the current Scholastic Clay Target Program handbook for approved coaching courses, available on the Resources and Forms page

Who provides the insurance for the course?

Attendees at the range days are covered under the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation’s $10M liability insurance policy, which is the same policy in place for members of the Scholastic Action Shooting Program. Please visit the SSSF website for details.

Is there a background check required to take the course?

The SSSF does not require a background check to take the Basic Action Shooting Course since most youth shooting sports programs, including the Scholastic Action Shooting Program have their own background check process as part of team registration. Check with your state advisor or administrator to see if there are additional, state requirements where you live.

How can I share information about the coach course?

The SSSF currently has a two-minute videos showing aspects of the course and the Scholastic Action Shooting Program in action.

Video 1

Will other courses be offered in the future?

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation has worked in partnership with Kalkomey Enterprises to create the ShootingSports-Ed.com website as a platform for shooting sports education needs. In addition to the Basic Action Shooting Course, SSSF offers a Basic Action Shooting Course for rifle and pistol program coaches. SSSF anticipates launching other educational offerings for coaches in the future.

This course was funded in part by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program (grant F19AP00118), a program supported with funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and jointly managed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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