I’m arranging for USSEA to come and deliver a certification exam for my organization. Can someone I know outside of my organization join in?
When it comes to whether or not somebody from outside of your organization can join the exam that we bring to your area, we do allow others to join as long as it doesn't push the group size over, and we do hold everyone to the same professional standards so they have to be on point and respectful of everyone else there.
Can you help me bring a skateboard program to my local skatepark?
Yes! Beyond certification of skateboard coaches, we have our own complete and extensive skateboard teaching program that anyone can get started with. This has all of the tools built in to not only insure that you can begin teaching students safely and effectively on day one, but can track their progress, gauge student readiness, and help the students and teachers reach their goals. Our skateboard teaching program, if implemented as we offer it, insures that you are providing the quality of instruction that USSEA strives to enable all of our certified coaches with. Please feel free to reach out to USSEA with further inquiry, or if you are interested in using our program.
To be a USSEA certified instructor, do I have to use USSEA’s own teaching program in my class?
Not at all. We do not aim to get between an instructor and their preferred teaching methods, and we appreciate and honor the diversity of teaching methods out there. We believe that an inspired instructor can use their personal experience and perspective to bring new insights in elevating and furthering the sport. It is USSEA’s aim to inspire instructors, and to help them reach their own maximum potential. While we do have a general baseline of conduct, knowledge of the dynamics of the sport, and strict adherence to safety protocols in order for certification to be maintained, certification is not meant to limit a coaches ability to teach the way they feel most inspired to teach.
Our certification process covers this topic thoroughly. You will walk away confident in your ability to maintain good rapport and communication with parents of beginners enrolled in your program, as well as ways to track progress to show parents what their child is learning in your time with them.
Do you have tips for keeping a good working relationship with the parents of our students?
You don't have to have ramps to teach skateboarding. As you well know, a large part of skateboarding doesn't happen in a skate park, all of the flat ground tricks. There's a lot that goes into developing skill on just a flat piece of concrete. Many have mastered so many aspects of skateboarding without ever leaving a flat ground, people like Rodney Mullen for example. Our certification covers training in all areas, and gives you an incredible amount to work with on just a flat slab of concrete. From transition to flat ground, to some elements of street. We’re not recommending taking the classroom out to the street and to areas where you're not welcome, but if you have a place to practice and can use the area then what we do will enable the instructor to teach a very high end, professional lesson experience.
What If I don’t have access to a skatepark or ramps?
Whether we’ve arranged to come to you, or if you are attending a regional exam, the program itself last 2 days. Depending on group size, we may schedule training in smaller group segments, as we give focused training time to each individual in attendance. Some of that time is spent with us training you and preparing you for the exam, and some of it is actual examination time.
We have three levels of certification. Level 1 very much focuses on the beginner learner environment, so the ability to teach all of the beginner and novice levels of skateboarding and to be able to manage a group in a public or private skatepark and to work through all of this challenges and building a relationship with the parents and the students. Through higher levels of certification, we go into much greater depth and detail concerning the teaching process.
What is the time commitment and process for becoming a certified instructor?
For organizations looking to get their staff certified or their program evaluated, the cost will vary based on the packaged that best suites the specific needs of individual organizations. Per individual, the cost of certification is $350, which covers training time and exam time. We must have a minimum of 8 trainees signed up to cover our base costs.
What is the cost of certification?
A certified coach must maintain their member dues. Certification comes with a USSEA membership. Every year, certified members must attend an educational event or forum. We offer several different kinds of events, and some are online. Some of them are regional skate clinics and events that you can participate in. The training events are actually very fun, with great people coming together to have a fun and educational time. But, however you maintain educational credits, there is an annual membership fee of $75 per year, and every 2 years certified members must attend a 2 day training that will either maintain their membership at their current level, or boosts them to the next level of certification depending on their increased proficiency.
Is there a cost for maintaining my certification?
We don’t focus too heavily on the coach’s skating skills, because what we find is that skateboarders that want to be coaches tend to have a pretty solid skill in the ability to demonstrate. We do evaluate skill level, to make sure there is a basic level of proficiency, but what we are mainly focused on is making sure the skateboard coach knows how to communicate and connect really well with the student, knows how to communicate and connect really well with the parent, and understands how to manage the group in a relatively safe way in the skate park and anywhere else that they’re teaching. Ultimately, we’re teaching coaches how to teach.
We insure that instructors, whether they’re 16 years old or 26 years old, understand how to work in the dynamic of a skateboard teaching environment really well. The biggest challenges aren't so much to do with the tricks or the skills, it’s being able to communicate effectively within the group, making sure that it’s fun, and making sure that the student is in a place mentally and emotionally where they can learn regardless of what they're being taught. Our job is making sure that that whole environment comes together, and that anyone certified by us has the ability to deliver a very professional and very fun experience.