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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. 

IOC Consensus Statement on Youth Athletic Development

"Encourage children to participate in a variety of different unstructured (i.e. deliberate play) and structured age-appropriate sport-related activities and settings to develop a wide range of athletic and social skills and attributes that will encourage sustained sport participation and enjoyment"

Bergeron et al, 2015

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 can be accessed by clicking here or on the thumbnail below. 


Participant's Self-Reflection

This task is an opportunity for you to check that you have achieved the desired practical and learning outcomes from the course. 

Consider which outcomes you believe apply to your coaching abilities and tick (by clicking or tapping) the relevant boxes. We encourage you to give yourself an honest self-reflection and indicating that you have not achieved an outcome at this time will not effect your eligibility to receive Level 1 accreditation.

By emailing your completed form, this information may be used to assist us improve the course and to send you relevant content to assist you meet the desired course outcomes. 

Click here or on the thumbnail below to complete.

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 or on the thumbnails to access Activity Cards from the Disability Education Program. This includes a collection of inclusive activities that can be used to improve the fundamental movement skills of young athletes.  



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. 


Five Top Tips for Coaching Kids

When coaching kids for the first time, it is not uncommon to lack direction. It is a period when coaching beliefs, standards and philosophies are only starting to be established. To fast-track this process, Darren Wensor from shares five of the top things that he learnt during his coaching journey.

Click here or on the thumbnail below to read. 


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. 



Conditioning Circuit for Beginning Athletes Guide

This conditioning circuit will assist in the development of young athlete's strength, power, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, co-ordination and flexibility. 

Click here or on the thumbnail below to download. 


IAAF Introduction to Coaching

Click here to read the IAAF's 'Introduction to Coaching' Manual.



Fundamental Movement Skills in Children and Adolescents

"The mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) has been purported as contributing to children’s physical, cognitive and social development and is thought to provide the foundation for an active lifestyle. Commonly developed in childhood and subsequently refined into context- and sport-specific skills, they include locomotor (e.g. running and hopping), manipulative or object control (e.g. catching and throwing) and stability (e.g. balancing and twisting) skills. The rationale for promoting the development of FMS in childhood relies on the existence of evidence on the current or future benefits associated with the acquisition of FMS proficiency." 

Click here or on the thumbnail below to read more.


Sports CONNECT - Inclusion in Sport

Designed by the Australian Sports Commission, the Inclusion in Sport Manual serves as an important tool in supporting coaches to deliver inclusive sessions that are accessible to all athletes. All Level 2 Intermediate Club coaches are encouraged to save the Inclusion in Sport PDF to their personal device and reflect on the content regularly to ensure they are delivering inclusive sessions in a manner that allows athletes under their care to achieve their best. 

Click here on the the thumbnail below to access the manual. 



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.


Session Plan Template

This session plan template will assist you to design appropriate sessions and direct you to handy resources if you are struggling with any elements. 

Click here to download a .doc version.


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. 

POst-Course Work

After completion of your practical course, you are required to create and submit two (2) session plans through your Online Learning Portal.  Instructions, including your prescribed scenarios, and additional resources to help you design your session plans are available through the Learning Portal.

Click here to begin. 


Session Plan Assignment

Select two scenarios from the options below. 

Scenario 1

Your first session plan should be designed for a group of 15 K-1 students (4-6 years of age). The purpose of the session is to introduce them to the Fundamental Movement Skills of run, jump and throw. Expect none of the participants to have taken part in a session previously. 

One student is in a wheelchair. Using the DEP activity cards to assist your answer, choose a selection of activities suitable to ensure that they can also take part in the session.

Session 2

The Head Coach at your local athletics club is taking a high intensity training session with the older athletes preparing for a State competition and has asked you to look after the younger athletes for the 45 minute session.

You have 30 athletes ranging from 5 to 10 years of age. Design a session plan that develops the fundamental movement skills of the athletes, considering activities that allow for a large number of participants to be active at one time and will cater for the different development levels and abilities of the athletes.

Session 3

You have been invited to a Year 7 Physical Education class to improve the fundamental movement skills of the students. Design a 60 minute session that is suitable for this age group using the Athletics Fundamentals video series to indicate the skill points that you will be focusing on. Your session should include running, jumping and throwing. 

Two participants are actively involved in athletics, consider an extension that remains within your scope of practice as a Level 1 Community Athletics Coach. 


Example Session Plans

The following session plans have been submitted by coaches who have successfully completed their Level 1 Community Athletics Coach accreditation and agreed to share their session plans. 

These scenarios are the intellectual property of their designers and shared with their permission. 

Scenario 2 by Dragan Music

Scenario 2 by Vanessa Busby

Learn the Rules of the Sport

All Accredited Athletics Coaches are able to enrol in the online officiating courses free of charge to develop or extend their knowledge of the rules of track and field. 

You are able to enrol in your chosen Level 1 Officiating courses through your Online Learning Portal

These are optional modules and are not required to gain your Level 1 Community Athletics Coach accreditation.

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. 



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. 

Fundamental Motor Skills: A Manual for Classroom Teachers - by the Department of Education, Victoria. This manual provides an overview of the importance of the Fundamental Motor Skills for sporting success and a small assortment of recommended activities to develop the skills for Primary-aged children. 

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. 

Development Model

Australian Sports Commission's Position on Physical Literacy

With well-developed physical literacy skills in early life, people will be more likely to have the confidence and capability to participate and be physically active throughout their lives.

Physical literacy enhances a person’s:

- Ability to perform a variety of fundamental movement skills competently and confidently

- Attitude toward physical activity and sport and can increase the motivation to be active

- Understanding of how to adapt to different movement settings and engage effectively with others

- Knowledge and understanding of how and when to apply tactics and strategies in games.

The development of physical literacy is a lifelong process that is ongoing and dynamic. It is not developed to a point of completion but requires continual refinement and re-focusing based on life stage and circumstances, paving the way for a healthy and physically active life.

Keegan et al, 2017

Developing Young Talent

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


Recommended Reading

Richardson, B. (2018). Putting Theory into Practice: Using Games-Based Activities to Achieve Psychosocial Outcomes, Connected Coaches.
What is psychosocial coaching and what are the benefits for participants? This blog explains the theory before showcasing what psychosocial coaching looks like in practice.

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."

ASCA (2017) Resistance Training for Children and Youths: A Position Stand , Australian Strength and Conditioning Association

"The purpose of the Position Stand is to develop a document that provides for as much clarity and guidance as possible to assist coaches in designing resistance training programs for children and youth at various stages throughout  their development. Hence this document develops several age-related sample programs, proposes age and function specific progressions in training, and describes the actual first hand experiences of highly trained  athletes who  have performed intense resistance training during their youth."

Recommended Online Course
PBTR - Let Kids be Kids

As athletics coaches, you are expected to be leaders within your community and ensure that your club has a positive attitude that supports the participation and improvement of all athletes, officials and fellow coaches. The PBTR - Let Kids be Kids online module is a great resource for learning effective practices in creating a positive club environment to best support the development of our young athletes. 

Click here or on the thumbnail below to enrol in the online module. 

Principles of quality COaching
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.

$10.00 from the AIS Shop

recommended resources

Athletics Australia keeps an updated list of texts available that have been recommended by Accredited Athletics Coaches. 

Currently Popular

Coaching Better Every Season by Wade Gilbert

Coaching Excellence by Frank Pyke

Click here or on the tab below to see all texts that are currently recommended. 

After the Course

Once you have successfully completed the Level 1 Community Athletics Coach course, Session Plan Assignment, 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. 

Youth Coaching

"I think this infographic captures what youth coaching is all about...if I was evaluating an entry-level coach, these are the qualities that I would judge them against"

- Rohan Short, Athletics Australia
High Performance Coaching Consultant





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

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