Coaches Education

At the heart of the high school sports experience is the quality of coaching provided to student-athletes.  A key element of having high quality coaching is ensuring that coaches have proper and ongoing training.

Young people will experience the positive outcomes of athletic participation only if they have a qualified coach.  A well-qualified coach knows how to plan dynamic practice sessions, teaches sound fundamentals with good learning progressions, and plans training programs appropriate for the sport.  Successful coaches communicate with the athletes effectively and understand the kind of positive motivational approaches that result in achievement.  Athletes who receive good coaching will also be injured less frequently.  As a consequence, they will have more opportunities to experience the excitement and receive the positive values of athletic competition, while perform at their best possible level.


Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the following courses shall be required for completion by all coaches, paid or volunteer, for athletic activities grades 9-12:

  • NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching
  • NFHS First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches
  • NFHS Concussion in Sports

Each course also has a defined renewal period per SDHSAA Board of Directors action:

  • NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching - No renewal required after completion
  • NFHS First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches - Must be renewed every two (2) years
  • NFHS Concussion in Sports - Must be renewed annually after July 1st per SD Codified Law (SDCL)

The only exception to these rules is as follows:  Individuals who graduate from an accredited education program and obtain a teaching certificate from the South Dakota Department of Education which includes a Coaching Endorsement pursuant to SDCL 24:15:06:32 will have a five-year grace period to complete the requirement of the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course.  This course must be completed prior to beginning coaching duties within five (5) calendar years from the date of graduation.

NOTE: All Coach Education Courses have been approved by the South Dakota Department of Education for application toward Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for certificated teachers. Please visit the Department of Education's website for more information, as well as access to the appropriate paperwork.  To view the clock hours for Department of Education credit, please click here.

NOTE: Through a partnership with the University of Sioux Falls (USF) and the SDHSAA, any individual who completes the "Fundamentals of Coaching" and "First Aid, Health, and Safety for Coaches" courses is now eligible to earn one (1) semester hour of graduate credit through USF in addition to meeting the SDHSAA/DOE guidelines for coaching requirments.

By registering with USF through their workshop/outreach program, this one (1)  semester hour of graduate credit can be obtained for a fee of $45.00 payable to USF.  This $45.00 fee is paid directly to USF and covers their expense; no financial gain is realized by any other organization, including the SDHSAA or NFHS.  For more information or to register for the graduate credit, please visit

General Coach Education

(All Sports)
Fundamentals of Coaching
First Aid for Coaches
Concussion in Sports

Spirit Coach Education

(Comp. Cheer, Comp. Dance, Sideline Cheer)
AACCA Spirit Safety Certification
*REQUIRED (if stunting)