How to Become a Certified Coach for All-Star Cheerleading

Side profile of cheerleaders with pom-poms
Cheerleaders cheering with pompoms. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

The United States All Star Cheerleading Federation (USASF) oversees safety, rules and regulations for all-star cheerleading programs. It makes all aspiring all-star coaches go through a rigorous credentialing process. This process includes studying and adhering to federation rules, passing an online test and demonstrating knowledge in a hands-on test.

Ready, Set and Prerequisites

Aspiring all-star coaches must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and be a career member of USASF to even qualify for credentials. That membership costs $30 for the first year. It costs a little more to get credentials on the coaching levels. That can range from $15 to $30 depending on the skill set. The payments can be made online during registration. A level 1 coach doesn't need prior formal coaching experience, but all other levels do. The organization demands a practical field experience validation form signed by a gym or team owner.

Testing the Teachers

Rules for corresponding skill sets are in the resource section of the user profile on USAF.net. Each coach is expected to know them before they take an online test. The rules cover safety concerns, restrictions and procedures for all-star cheerleading stunts. For example, a coach testing for level 1 tumbling needs to know what causes early releases in pyramids and what constitutes a true dismount during a stunt.

Eighty Percent or Else

First-timers must pass the online safety rules test with a score of 80 percent or better. The test usually takes about an hour. It's in the industry resources section of the profile on the USASF website. Successful applicants need to print the certification of completion.

Sticking the Landing

The online test is followed by a hands-on test which, according to "Cheer Professional" magazine, is a unique verbal assessment of a coach's ability to teach skills. Coaches must explain the steps in each skill to the tester the way they would describe it to a team. It takes 45 minutes to an hour. Coaches can visit the USASF website to find a credentialing location near them throughout the year. Administrators of the hands-on test will need to see the certificate of completion for the online test.

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