USA Ultimate Announces Upgrades and Changes to Coaching Development Program

Posted: February 2, 2017 03:37 PM

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Feb. 2, 2017) – USA Ultimate is excited to announce the initial stages of the new and improved Coaching Development Program (CDP). 

The CDP was created in 2003 with the goals of developing basic coaching standards, building a corps of coaches around the country and creating a community of those coaches. The CDP began certifying coaches in 2004, and since that time, hundreds of coaches have been certified through the program. 

As ultimate has continued to grow, the need to update the program to better serve the current needs of the ultimate community has become more apparent. With that in mind, over the last year, USA Ultimate’s outreach and education staff has been collaborating with coaches around the nation to determine criteria for the updated program levels and common themes that need to be addressed by coaches at all levels. Three task forces – one each in Seattle, Minneapolis and Boston – along with current CDP instructors helped identify the criteria, which led to the first iteration of the updated CDP. The proposed updates were presented to organizers and coaches at the U.S. Open and the Youth Club Championships for additional feedback, which led to the new and improved program outlined here.

The goals of the newly upgraded CDP are to:

  • provide coaches with a base level of material that enables them to coach according to professional, ethical and legal standards;

  • teach individuals material that relates to their coaching situation; 

  • create a program that is accessible, affordable and valuable; and

  • create a program that encompasses the values of the American Development Model (ADM).

Instead of level one and level two certifications, the CDP will now have A, B and C level certifications, each of which is geared toward a particular age group and skill level of ultimate players. Opportunities to contribute to the development of the three certification programs are still available for experienced coaches. Job descriptions for these co-authors can be found on USA Ultimate’s Get Involved page

Additional educational requirements, including the CDC’s online concussion training and a SafeSport training regarding athlete protection, have also been added for anyone who wishes to purchase a coach-level USA Ultimate membership. 

The updated CDP and new coach-level membership requirements will be implemented over the course of the next two years. 

Additional Information: 

More detailed information about the upgraded Coaching Development Program, including the timeline for the next two years and the new requirements for coach memberships, including an FAQ section, can be found here.


If you have further questions about the updated CDP or new coach membership requirements, contact USA Ultimate Manager of Youth & Education Programs Dan Raabe.  

Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.