1. Why was this program created?
The Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) has been providing youth sports and educational programs since 1991 and has become a trusted youth sports organization. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State pedophilia scandal, Dan Klinkhammer, the founder of MYAS, was contacted by journalists who inquired as to what was currently being done to protect America’s youth athletes. Coaches below high school level are mostly untrained and, in many cases, unscreened volunteer coaches. The disturbing revelations of coaches sexually, physically or psychologically abusing players make the leaders of youth sports associations and parents ask:
- Do we know who is coaching our children and were they properly screened through background checks and interviews?
- What should we expect from those who coach our children? Did we provide them with the training necessary to give our children a positive and productive experience?
- What can be done to help ensure that children participate in a safe and healthy environment? Did my association do everything they could to protect my child?
- Is there an easy way to find answers to these important questions, such as an online coaches’ registry that parents and association leaders can easily check?
Klinkhammer’s answers to these issues was to develop the Trusted Coaches youth coach program. Trusted Coaches has developed an online youth coaching program that features a verification card with the coach’s photo. This card verifies a coach has:
- successfully completed the online concussion training course developed using CDC guidelines.
- successfully completed an online first-aid course which addresses injury prevention and treatment, hydration, conditioning, and safety.
- successfully completed the online Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach® character education course.
- passed an approved national criminal background check.
2. Why online courses?
A major difficulty in selecting and instructing volunteer youth coaches is the time involved. Time is a crucial factor for volunteer coaches already saddled with practices, games, tournaments, parent meetings, etc. Trusted Coaches has designed a fully online program that coaches can complete in their own home and at their own pace.
3. Are there other programs like this?
Other organizations offer components of this program but Trusted Coaches is the most comprehensive, time-efficient and cost-effective solution that emphasizes child development and safety. The Trusted Coaches program was developed by the MYAS because of our extensive experience with very large sports programs and interaction with thousands of coaches since 1991. We understand the difficult challenge of selecting, training, supporting and inspiring youth coaches.
4. How to get started?
- Logon to www.trustedcoaches.org Take a minute to check out the website and it features!
- Click on the Get Started tab on the top right hand side of the site.
- Select Organizations Purchase Codes.
- Now click on Add to Cart
- Select the number of coaches (One Coach = One Access Code)
- Create Administrative Account
Organizations may purchase codes for their coaches with a credit card or using a PO/pay by check option. Codes will be distributed to all coaches within that organization. Those coaches will use the code to set up accounts and access the online courses. Each coach must submit a color photo that will appear on the verification card they will receive once they have completed the coursework and passed a national background check. Verified coaches will be placed in the National Coaches’ Registry on the Trusted Coaches website (www.trustedcoaches.org). The registry is easily accessible and indicates coaches’ renewal dates for the various segments of the program.
Added Features for Organization Administrators
Admin Tools– These tools were created for administrators to easily manage and monitor their coaches certifications and completion dates as well as using the website as a communication medium.
5. What are the primary benefits of the program?
- Helping coaches minimize the risk of injury to young athletes
- Providing information about fundamental coaching concepts which enhance volunteer coaches’ effectiveness
- Offering a “one-stop shop” for youth associations to deliver best practices education to their coaches
- Providing cost-saving measures for coaches and associations, as the comprehensive program is offered at a fraction of the services’ costs if purchased separately
- Providing an online repository capable of keeping track of coaches’ certifications and renewal dates, which can be checked by association administrators and parents
6. What is the cost?
Because Trusted Coaches can use its group purchasing power in assembling this comprehensive package of coaching educational services, we are able to charge just $35 per person. This package of services would typically cost $90-115 per person. Trusted Coaches does offer a “Volume Discount” for organizations that purchase 50 or more codes. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-746-1719 for more information on this “Volume Discount”.
7. Why did you choose the Positive Coaching Alliance “Double-Goal Coaching” as your general education course?
While there are other youth sports education programs on the market today, some of which we have worked with in the past, we have teamed up with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) for very good reasons. The “Double-Goal Coach” has two goals: the first is to win, but the second, more important goal is to teach life lessons through sports. PCA’s online course is filled with powerful coaching tools that are based on the latest research in sports psychology and reflect the “best practices” of elite coaches and athletes, including such PCA National Advisory Board Members; former NBA coach Phil Jackson, former NFL coach Herm Edwards, MLB star Dusty Baker and many Olympic athletes and coaches. The PCA program was developed by Jim Thompson at Stanford University. Thompson’s credentials are very impressive and we believe that PCA has developed the most dynamic suite of courses currently available for youth coaches, parents and young athletes.
8. How long do I have to complete the coursework?
Applicants will have 30 days from the date they activate their account. The first step is filling out the application and agreeing to the conditions of a national background check. The applicant will then receive access to the coursework, and the 30-day timeline will begin. Applicants will receive e-mail reminders throughout the 30 days to help keep them on track for completion.
9. Is the Trusted Coaches program designed to offer annual training, and how long is my verification valid?
Trusted Coaches verification is good for three years and then must be renewed. Each state may have a different set of requirements for concussion training, so you may want to consult your association’s headquarters for more information. Our services are offered ala carte for those who may need to update their training more frequently.
10. Is it possible to pay for all of our coaches’ training in one lump sum, or do we need to pay for the coaches individually?
Groups (associations, clubs, park and recreation departments, YMCAs, YWCAs, CYOs, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) should pay for all of their coaches’ training in a single payment (whenever possible).
11. How long does it take to complete the training (approximately)?
The courses are self-paced, meaning you can start and stop as you wish, so times will vary. However, each course should take between 30-60 minutes of continuous study and the whole program can be completed in less than two hours.
12. Can you explain the record keeping of coach information and who will have access to it?
The Trusted Coaches website contains a National Youth Coach Registry that confirms the dates that coaches successfully completed the courses. This directory is available to the public so that travel directors, parents, etc. can check to insure that coaches’ education requirements are current.Trusted Coaches is built on two levels, one for coaches to receive their necessary training and the other for administrators to monitor and manage their coaches training.
Administrators have the ability to invite their coaches to participate in the Trusted Coaches program from the ‘Send Coach Invites’” Tool. This feature allows administrators to track how many purchased programs they still have available and to create a custom e-mail. Every e-mail will include an easy link for invited coaches to be able to one-click and get started with the Trusted Coaches program. Administrators, using the “My Coaches” Tool also are able to track individual coach’s program progress and view certifications and completion dates.
13. Can a baseball coach take the training and have it carry over to the basketball season?
Absolutely! The training is not sport-specific. Rather, it addresses a youth coach’s roles and their responsibilities to the children, parents, their association, opponents, officials, etc. This program not only emphasizes making youth sports a safe and positive experience for young athletes, but it is also a family-building and community-building experience for everyone involved.
14. Is this program mandatory in order to be a youth coach?
It depends on your association, but Trusted Coaches strongly encourages all associations to require a national background check, concussion training (there are laws in all 50 states), and some general youth coach education as a minimum to allow adults to coach. Our Kids Deserve the Best Coaches Possible.
15. Who profits from this program?
Because the organization that created Trusted Coaches is a nonprofit, the program is priced to offer the maximum value at an almost break-even price. Profits will be reinvested to enhance the product and customer service.
16. How do you handle site security?
Once you are using our system and logged onto the Trusted Coaches website, digital security certificates and two stages of data encryption are utilized to protect your information!
17. Why do you need the last 4 digits of my Social Security Number?
Social Security Numbers are used to help identify the correct person and their place of residence. For security purposes, we only ask for the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. This is our first step in determining that we have identified the correct person when we are conducting a criminal background check. Once we have identified the correct person, we use that information, minus the SSN, to do a NATIONAL background check. Trusted Coaches utilizes a digital certificate, which is used to encrypt information on our site using an AES 256-bit encryption. All sensitive information submitted to our website is immediately uploaded to a secure FTP site and all information is wiped from the Trusted Coaches website. Note – we do not conduct credit reports or verify employment or education claims
18. What type of process do you use for background checks?
Trusted Coaches (TC), with the advice of our legal team, has developed a fair and legal process to conduct background checks. Trusted Coaches uses its own senior management to complete the process in evaluating membership eligibility. TC search international, national, state and county levels to ensure the best information possible to make a fair decision about membership.
For more information on this process, click on this link: Trusted Coaches Background Screening Process
19. Who do I contact with questions?
For more information or to schedule your association coaches’ participation in this important new program, contact Trusted Coaches at email@example.com or 763-746-1719.
For technical issues or website support contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-210-1715