Hosting a USFCA Coaches Clinic

Hosting a USFCA Coaches Clinic

Why host a USFCA Clinic? It will benefit your fencers, parents and assistant coaches. It is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge with other coaches, and, if certification practical’s are offered, will allow local coaches to be tested with less expense. Your club can generate funds, publicity and develop a relationship with local businesses. Coaching clinics support coaches’ professional development at all levels, from beginning coach to master coach. In short, hosting a USFCA clinic is one of the major ways that you, as a member coach, can help with the teaching of the theory and practice of our sport. The USFCA wants to help you help our coaches grow in their knowledge, certify coaches at the levels they deserve, and to help your organization or club host a financially successful event.

All USFCA approved clinics must meet USFCA National Coaching Clinic Standards.

All USFCA clinics are peer reviewed by members of the Professional Development Committee (PDC) to ensure that they meet the USFCA standards.

All USFCA clinics award continuing education hours to USFCA member participants. Presenters are also awarded continuing education hours for the professional development.

All USFCA approved clinics are advertised on our website, emailed to the membership, and posted on Twitter and Instagram.

All USFCA approved coaching clinics are open to all USFCA members and non-members. Non-members pay 25%

Types of Clinics The USFCA is committed to preparing its member coaches to not only teach the theory and practice of fencing, but also to all other aspects that impact the teaching and coaching of our sport. Basically there are two types of coaching clinics; A Professional Development Clinic and a Certifying Clinic.

Certifying Coaching Clinics  A Certifying Coaches Clinic would be focused on teaching the specific things a coach needs to learn or perfect to pass a certifying examination. Usually these clinics are three to four days long and practical testing is done on the last day of the clinic. Because certifying clinics usually draw coaches from all over the region and sometimes nationally, applications should be received by the Professional Development Committee for approval six months in advance to ensure no conflicts with other clinics and to get the best promotional opportunities provided by the USFCA.

If you plan to give certification exams, remember that you will need coaches who are current USFCA members and have been certified to give the exams. In addition, you will need two Prevots or one Master for a Moniteur exam, two Masters for a Prevot exam. If you want to  have a candidate for Fencing Master contact the Certification and Accreditation Board (CAB) Chair, David Sierra for assistance. All Master board examiners are appointed by the CAB. Remote testing is also available for all levels of certification. Contact these examiner coaches well in advance so your examination boards will be complete for those who are taking the exams. If you need help finding examiners again, contact the Chair of the USFCA’s Certification and Accreditation Board (CAB), David Sierra.

For more information on USFCA certification click here: Certification

Professional Development Clinics – While the preparation of coaches to take certification exams is a major part of our clinic program, we also encourage Professional Development clinics to teach beginning coaches basic fencing technique and theory, to hold clinics on starting and managing club programs, coaching youth, high school, and collegiate programs, and such topics as strength and conditioning training, sports medicine, sports psychology, etc. Professional development clinics are anywhere from one hour to two days and can cover a wide range of topics. They can be designed to serve any level coach and they can be local, regional or even national. PD Clinics that are local can be submitted to the Professional Development Committee three months in advance while those clinics that are targeting a regional or national audience should submit their applications six months in advance.

Planning is critical We strongly recommend that you begin planning well in advance. Check the national, regional, and local fencing tournament schedules to avoid conflicts and coordinate with the coaches who will be your attendees and your presenters months in advance to ensure good attendance. If you need help finding presenters contact the USFCA Executive Director, Vinnie Bradford

How to gain official USFCA approval for your clinic

1. Plan your clinic, as outlined above, well ahead of time. Contact the presenters to help you develop a syllabus. Click here to the syllabus template. All information on the template is required. Additional information may be added. Click here to see some sample syllabi (sample#1, sample#2).

2. If you plan to administer practical exams at your clinic, be sure and download the necessary forms located in the Documents folder called Practical Exam Materials on the USFCA web site. Remember that all examiners must take  the Examiner Certification Course and be certified to give practical exams. Make sure you are familiar with all of the information about testing. Make it clear in your course description and all your publicity that the attendees must take and pass the online written USFCA Moniteur or Prevot exam before they get to the clinic if they plan to take a practical exam. Practical exams will not be given if they have not passed the written exam. Attendees should bring with them proof of USFCA membership and email confirmation that they have passed the online exam and paid online for the practical exam(s).  Candidates must also be SafeSport Certified and have a current backgroud check in their profiles on the USA Fencing website. No exam fees are to be paid to the clinic organizers since this is always done online at the USFCA website.

2. Fill out the online Clinic application form. Prepare your syllabi, marketing image and other information before starting the application. This form will not allow you edit once submitted.

3. Your application will automatically go to the PDC for peer review. It takes 5-7 business for approval of a clinic application. If your application is incomplete or does not meet USFCA standards for coaching clinics the PDC will notify the organizer with the items that need addressing before approval.

4. Once your clinic application is approved it will be immediately posted on the USFCA website, an email blast goes out to the membership, and the clinic is posted on Twitter and Instagram. Clinics submitted and approved in a timely manner will also be advertised in the USA Fencing’s Coaching Outside the Box newsletter.

5. If you make any significant changes to the clinic as approved, such as an additional day, a change of curriculum, a new presenter, or a cancellation of the clinic, you MUST notify the Chair of the PDC, Kathy Vail in a timely manner. Any changes that, in our opinion, would affect the value of the clinic, can result in the rescinding of USFCA sanction.

What to do at the conclusion of your clinic

1. Allow the last fifteen minutes of your clinic for participants to login the USFCA website (on their cell phones) and fill out the online Participant Clinic Evaluation Form.

2. The clinic organizer must complete the online Organizer’s Evaluation Form within three days of the conclusion of the clinic. Clinic participants and presenters are awarded continuing education hours based on this document.

3. Practical exam results must be reported within three days of the conclusion of the clinic for examiners to receive their honorarium.

4. The Professional Development Committee is requesting submissions for our USFCA video library. We encourage USFCA clinic organizers to submit videos of individual lesson presentations, group class presentations and lectures from their clinics to Chair of the PDC, Kathy Vail. USFCA members may refer to the “videos” section on the USFCA homepage for preferred format. This is not a requirement.

Thank you for hosting a USFCA clinic. If you have any additional questions or need help with your clinic please contact the Executive Director, Vinnie Bradford