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This page contains course materials relevant to coaches who have completed or are enrolled in the Level 1 Community Athletics Coach course. Coaches are strongly encouraged to bookmark this page as it will be periodically updated to ensure that you have access to the latest content to develop and consolidate your knowledge. 

LEVEL 1 community athletics coach Checklist

Before the Course

On the Day of the Course

  • Bring a pen, paper, lunch and have access to your Participant's Manual.
  • Wear clothes that allow you to perform light exercise. 

After the Course

Pre-course work

Click here to register for your Online Learning Modules (Includes Pre-Course work and Learning Material)

Prior to attending the course all participants are required to complete the Australian Sports Commission's 'Community Coaching General Principles' and 'Play by the Rules - Child Protection' courses. These can be completed through your Canopi Learning Portal

Course Resources

Lecture Slides

The Level 1 Community Athletics Coach lecture slides are available to download by clicking here. You are encouraged to have this document available to you on the day of the course to allow you to make notes and follow along with the material. 

Participant's Manual

The Level 1 Community Athletics Coach Participant's Manual is designed to provide an overview of the fundamentals of Athletics coaching. It introduces techniques to deliver engaging and safe sessions that introduce the fundamental movement patterns of run, jump, and throw to beginner athletes. 

Participants are required to either print or save the manual to their personal device and have access to it on the day of their course. Upon completion of the course participants are encouraged to refer back to their manual regularly to supplement their learning. 

The Participant's Manual was last updated on the 19th of August, 2017 and a PDF version can be accessed by clicking here or on the thumbnail below. 


Essential Learning Resources

Session Plans (Suitable for K-2)

This document offers eight detailed session plans for K-2 students from the IAAF Kids' Athletics curriculum. It includes a wide range of games and drills suitable for all beginner athletes. 



Athletics Play Manual

The Athletics Play manual provides coaches with a range of games and drills designed to develop the fundamental movement skills of beginner athletes. Activities are designed to be fun, inclusive, safe, and engaging for all primary-aged athletes. The manual can be accessed by clicking here or on the thumbnail below. 



Playing for Life Resources

The Playing for Life website provides coaches with activity cards that support delivery a program that focuses on getting children active and fostering a lifelong passion for sport. Coaches are able to access the website by following this link or clicking on the thumbnail below. 


Disability Education Program - Activity Cards

Click here to access Activity Cards from the Disability Education Program. 


The Developing Athlete

Champion hurdler, National Junior Coach and Coach Education Facilitator Lyn Foreman shares her philosophy for identifying junior talent and coaching the developing athlete. Click here or on the thumbnails below to read. 


Global Drug Reference Online

This is a searchable database that provides information about the prohibited status of medications and/or the active ingredient based on the current World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. It is expected that all Accredited Athletics Coaches understand how to access and use this resource. If you are having any difficulty please email Lynda Gusbeth

Click here or on the thumbnail below for access to the database. 


Games for Young Athletes

Click here to view a selection of games suitable for young athletes to develop the fundamental movement skills of run, jump and throw. This booklet contains an explanation of each activity and the evidence supporting its use for young athletes. 



Recommended Equipment

Click here for a list of recommended equipment for Level 1 and IAAF Kids' Athletics coaches delivering run, jump, and throw sessions to young athletes.

Additional Resources

The following articles are designed to extend your knowledge and may be of interest to those coaching or intending to coach beginner athletes. More content is able to be found at the Accredited Athletics Coach Resource Database

Athletics Australia does not endorse any of these articles, rather we provide them for your consideration and hope that you will find them interesting, informative and insightful. Coaches are encouraged to apply their own critical judgement in assessing what is published. 

Session Plan Template

Click here to download a .doc version of the session plan template.



Bledsoe, J. (2017). The Responsibility and Privilege of Coaching Youth Sports, CoachUp. 

Richardson, B. (2015). The Importance of Making your Sessions Fun and Engaging for 5-12 Year Olds, Connected Coaches. 



All Level 1 Community Athletics Coaches are strongly encouraged to be in touch with a mentor to guide their development. Athletics Coaches with an active and financial accreditation are welcome to be in touch with a Coach Mentor who appears on the National Coach Mentor Database. You are able to access the database by clicking here. If conducting a session with a Coach Mentor, be sure to have your Accreditation Card or Certificate of Currency accessible. 

Online Courses, Guides, and Lectures

Competing with Integrity - by the University of Technology, Sydney in conjunction with the IOC. This course explores the importance of competing with integrity and what steps can be taken to avoid unethical practices. (Free registration required).

Is it Wise to Specialize? - by John O'Sullivan. This manual explores the effects of early sports specialization on the athletic performance of children and sustainable alternatives to promote participation and long-term success of young athletes. 

Level 1 Anti-Doping Course - by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. This course provides the opportunity to develop knowledge of anti-doping. It comprises six modules and an assessment and will take approximately 70 minutes. 

Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games - by Ken Edwards and Troy Meston in conjunction with the Australian Sports Commission. This collection of activities is a selection of games and activities from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies all around Australia.  It provides an opportunity to learn about, appreciate and experience aspects of Indigenous culture.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 

Berg, W. (1992). Variable Practice: A Strategy for the Optimization of Skill Learning in Youth Athletics, IAAF New Studies in Athletics, 7(3), 45-50. 

Carron, A., & Bennett, B. (1977). Compatibility in the Coach-Athlete Dyad, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 48(4), 671-679

Riewald, S. (2003). Strategies to Prevent Dropout from Youth Athletics, IAAF New Studies in Athletics, 18(3), 21-26. 

Schiffer, J. (2008). Children and Youths in Athletics, IAAF New Studies in Athletics, 23(3), 7-18.  

Witard, O., McGlory, C., Hamilton, L., & Phillips, S. (2016). Growing Older with Health and Vitality: A Nexus of Physical Activity, Exercise, and Nutrition, Biogerontology, 1-18. 



Australian Sports Commission (2016). Market Segmentation for Sport Participation - Children, Clearinghouse for Sport. 

International Olympic Committee (2016). Coaching the Next Generation of Speed Skaters - From Athlete to Coach with Gold Medalist Christine Nesbitt, IOC.

Sport Nova Scotia (2016). Meet the Group - Full Version, Get More From Sport

Sports Coach UK (2016). What Makes your Session Unmissable for Young People, SportscoachUKTV. - Access the accompanying guide here

Sports Coach UK (2016). What Motivates Young People to be Active?, SportscoachUKTV.  - Access the accompanying guide here

Sports Coach UK (2016). How do you Coach Young People when Life Changes, SportscoachUKTV. - Access the accompanying guide here

White, E. (2016). Including Students with Vision Impairments in Physical Education, Statewide Vision Resource Centre. 

Website Articles

Bowley, C. (2016). The Athletic Triangle: Coach-Parent-Athlete Triad, Connected Coaches. 

Carmichael, S. (2015). How to Coach, According to 5 Great Sports Coaches, Harvard Business Review.

Fox, F. (2016). I Want This Year to be One When Women in Sport Were Heard, Swoop. 

Ludwig, Z. (2016). 4 Ways Yelling at Referees is Hurting our Children, Switching the Field. 

Noonan, K. (2013). The Real Reason Why Our Kids Quit Sport, News Ltd. 



IAAF - International Association of Athletics Federations. 

Athletics Oceania - The governing body for the sport of Athletics in Oceania. 

Clearinghouse for Sport - Australian Sports Commission led information and knowledge sharing initiative.

Play by the Rules - Supporting a safe, fair, and inclusive environment in sport and recreation. 

Developing Young Talent

This report summarises the main discussion points of Youth Development expert Wolfgan Killer at an IAAF Conference in Daegu, South Korea in 2016. Click here or on the thumbnails below to read. 


Recommended Reading
Riewald, S. (2003). Strategies to Prevent Dropout from Youth Athletics, IAAF New Studies in Athletics, 18(3), 21-26.
This article examines the factors that contribute to continued participation and dropout from youth athletics and discusses eight strategies that can be implemented by a coach to prevent dropout. These include emphasising skill development and personal improvement, a great focus on team events such as relays in youth athletics, effectively incorporating fun into the training environment and including lots of variety in the training program. 

Merkel, D. (2013). Youth Sport: Positive and Negative Impact on Young Athletes, Journal of Sports Medicine, 4, 151-160.
Merkel studies the issues and risks of youth sport and asserts "that an emphasis on fun, while establishing a balance between physical fitness, psychological well-being and lifelong lessons for a health and active lifestyle are paramount for success." Merkel also provides important strategies for reducing the risk of injury of young athletes and preventing dropout from sport in teenagers. 

Kirkland, A. (2016). More Than Just Training: The Coach/Athlete Relationship, Trainingpeaks. 

..."Coaching is not just about designing an annual training plan or prescribing an individual session. It’s about building successful coach/athlete relationships, and that takes hard work. For such relationships to work requires mutually compatible philosophies and an ability to get inside of the head of the athlete. This way we can work out what they want and more importantly what they need. ‘Want’ and ‘need’ are not the same thing."


Optional Textbook

Australian Institute of Sport. (2006). Beginning Coaching Manual. 

Beginning Coaching general principles targets the beginner coach with a focus on the 'soft skills' of coaching including:group management, communication, risk management, planning and ethical responsibilities of the coach. Information in each chapter is more 'reader friendly', incorporating a range of case studies to demonstrate how to apply theoretical concepts, and 'tips' to summarise key 'take home' points.

$17.50 from the AIS Shop

After the Course

Once you have successfully completed the Level 1 Community Athletics Coach course, Community Coaching General Principles and PBTR - Child Protection modules and signed all the required declarations you will receive an email to your nominated address confirming your accreditation. This email will also include instructions for accessing your Coach Portal

Setting up Your Coaching Profile

Once you have received your instructions for logging in to your Coach Portal, the first thing to do will be to visit the Registration Details page to set your username and password and ensure all personal details are correct. If you notice anything is incorrect please notify us

Advertising Your Coaching Services

All Accredited Athletics Coaches are eligible to appear on the Coach Search feature and to add a Recreational Running or Track and Field Squad to the Squad Search feature. 

Coach Search
Your iCoach profile will be automatically added to the database. You are able to add additional information to your profile or hide it from public searches by logging in to the Coach Portal and selecting 'Edit Profile'. 

If you are looking to promote your coaching services you are strongly encouraged to select Yes next to 'Taking New Athletes' on the edit page.

Squad Search
You can add a Squad that is linked to your coaching profile by selecting 'View/Add Squads' once logged in to the Coach Portal. You can add multiple squads if you wish to promote different groups that work with different abilities, ages or events. This is a great way to promote your squad and direct potential runners and athletes to your website. 

Coaching Insurance

All coaches accredited with Athletics Australia are covered under the national insurance policy. You are able to download your Certificate of Currency through the Coach Portal

Please note that the dates listed on the Certificate of Currency refer to the period that the terms of insurance are valid. The current insurance period runs from September 1 to August 31 each year and a new Certificate of Currency is available for all Accredited Coaches at this date. 

More information about the Coaching Insurance policy can be found by clicking here.

Proof of Accreditation

Once you accreditation has been successfully processed there are a number of ways for you to provide evidence of your accreditation to interested parties. 

  • Download your Certificate of Accreditation available through the Coach Portal. 
  • Present your Accreditation Card that will be mailed to your nominated address once your accreditation has been processed.
  • Direct the interested party to your iCoach profile.
  • Email if the interested party requires correspondence with Athletics Australia confirming your accreditation status. 
The next Level

As a Level 1 Community Athletics Coach you have two pathways available to you going forward:

Level 2 Intermediate Club Coach
This level teaches coaches the basic technical models of the Track and Field events held at club and school level competitions. Additional topics include; training principles, components of fitness, and the preparation and evaluation of training sessions suitable for intermediate level athletes. 

Level 2 Intermediate Recreational Running Coach
This course trains coaches to develop the fundamental technical and strategic skills for runners training for 5km through to ultra-marathon events. The course includes topics such as warm ups, endurance training, session planning, and designing training programs leading up to recreational running events.

Don't forget, you are also strongly encouraged to attend as many Free Professional Development sessions as possible. These informal education sessions are a great opportunity to broaden your coaching education and further develop your skills. 




Athletics Australia
Athletics House
Level 2, 31 Aughtie Drive
Albert Park  VIC 3206

P +61 3 8646 4550
F +61 3 8646 4560