When to Take the Level 5 Administration Course?


Most ASCA Coaches take the Level 5 Leadership course when they can anticipate having an athlete who will achieve a Level 5 time standard. That’s been true since 1985 and the inception of the ASCA Certification Program.

Then last week we got the following note from Coach Michael Lawrence. For those who have not had the pleasure, Mike is a coach at Lake Forest Swim Club, a former LSC Chairman, and the current Coordinator of United States Swimming’s Olympic International Operations Committee. In short, he walks the talk. He’s a leader. Here’s what he had to say:

“In my experience, I’ve learned that effective Leadership is such a long development process that exposure and study needs to start very early in a coach’s education. So I ask “when to take the Level 5 Leadership course?” and “should I wait until I’ve met the other criteria to be Level 5 Certified?”

Well, Coach, Why Wait? What About Now? Leadership is influencing others daily…your athletes, their parents, your staff, your co-workers. We lead someone every day. TAKE THE COURSE NOW. Organizations need to be competently led and managed by effective leaders.”

Michael’s words ring home to me. Leadership does take time to develop, as you will learn in the course and there is a definite and immutable process to it that you must understand and adhere to, regardless in what environment and culture you may lead.

Perhaps more coaches need to be taught about leadership IN ORDER TO REACH LEVEL 5! Maybe the ASCA has the course out of order.

It’s a great thought. Learn to Lead now to be a more effective coach today AND tomorrow.

All the Best, John Leonard


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