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ASCA: Supporting strength and conditioning coaches with training and professional development

The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) is an incorporated non-profit organisation and the peak national body for strength and conditioning (S&C) professionals in Australia.

The ASCA provides high-level professional industry support, vocational development and professional advancement opportunities while continuing to enhance and progress education for S&C coaches.

The ASCA is the accrediting body for strength and conditioning coaches in Australia, which is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and its high-performance program, the Australian Institute of Sport.

The accreditation framework progresses individuals who possess the competencies to design, implement and review safe and effective S&C programs for individuals and team sport athletes across the sporting spectrum.

S&C coaches are responsible for developing and enhancing the physical qualities of athletes specific to their sport

Importantly, they will consider the athlete's long-term athletic development and training age to ensure fundamental movement patterns and education are attained in each of the key physical qualities of strength, speed, energy systems, flexibility, mobility and recovery.

They will do this in consultation with the athlete, sports coach and relevant performance staff (including medical, sports science and dietitian), which will be dependent on the level of the athlete they are working with.

ASCA coach education pathway

The ASCA provides strength and conditioning accreditation courses in a progressive framework. An S&C coach should attain the relevant accredited strength and conditioning qualification based on experience, knowledge and practice for their country.

Introduction to S&C

The Introduction to S&C Accreditation recognises coaches who have an understanding of S&C coaching to coach an introductory athletic movement session. It is aimed at students 15+ years and sports support teachers.

Level 1

The Level 1 S&C Coach Accreditation recognises coaches who have a fundamental level of understanding of S&C coaching to enhance athletic development and performance. Coaches accredited at this level can coach, plan and program sessions to enhance the development and physical performance of athletes participating at the club to state levels.

Associate L2

The Associate L2 Coach Accreditation is a progression for accredited ASCA Level 1 coaches, intermediate S&C coaches, postgraduates from sports sciences and related courses, and prospective semi-professional and professional S&C specialists at senior levels.

Coaches accredited at this level can coach, plan and program advanced sessions to enhance the development and physical performance of athletes leading to, or within a high-performance environment, including athletes participating at the state, national, international and professional levels.

Professional L2

The Professional L2 Coach Accreditation recognises experiential coach development. Prior to becoming PL2 Accredited, coaches are required to be accredited at Associate L2 and meet additional experiential criterion.

This accreditation level is recognised as being the minimum level for full-time professional employment in Australia.

Elite L3

The Elite L3 Coach Accreditation is aimed at coaches working at professional, national and international levels who have been accredited and working full-time with Professional L2 accreditation for a minimum of two years. This course provides an expert level of understanding and application of S&C coaching, principles, leadership and mentoring.

Master L3

The Master L3 Coach Accreditation recognises the experiential coach development of those coaches that have been working at the national and/or international level for a minimum of eight years. This is the highest level of accreditation within the ASCA accreditation framework.

Elevate your coaching - professional development

Professional development is a crucial component of any career path to ensure continued upskilling, including for strength and conditioning coaches.

As a result, the ASCA offers a variety of professional development opportunities for all coaching levels to ensure that coaches are developing and providing the best quality coaching service for athletes.

These can range from local networking opportunities to partnering with other international organisations, such as Leaders in Performance, to attend their workshops and be exposed to further development in the leadership space.

ASCA-accredited coaches are required to maintain ongoing education as part of the accreditation process at each level and for re-accreditation every two years.

Ongoing education as part of professional development ensures coaches remain at the cutting edge of knowledge and technology in the strength and

conditioning industry.

This means athletes have access to best practice in strength and conditioning at all stages of development and are in the pursuit of enhancing performance at all levels of competition.

Additionally, ASCA-accredited coaches are required to mentor a lower-level coach and be mentored by a higher-level coach. This provides opportunities to target specific areas of development and open up a wider network of professionals from which to learn.

Additional professional development events and resources include:

My ASCA Portal

The My ASCA online portal hosts numerous coach resources, including short presentations, case studies, coach interviews, workshops, Q&A’s, group discussions, infographics, reviews, and conference presentations.

Professional development and networking groups and workshops

Online and in-person events are hosted across all major Australian cities. These groups facilitate presentations, working groups, professional development discussions, social events, and practical sessions, delivered by highly credentialed individuals.

The Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning

The Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning (JASC) is a refereed research publication that covers all aspects of strength and conditioning.

Each issue of the JASC includes a selection of original research from the field, case studies, field articles, exercise highlights, interviews, and reviews of the literature on a wide variety of strength and conditioning topics.

Professional coaches symposiums

Targeted professional development aimed at providing high-level discussions, presentations, and interactions with professional and elite-level coaches.


The ASCA international conference is a major event in the field of strength and conditioning, bringing together over 400 professionals from around the world to share their knowledge and expertise.

The conference provides a platform for coaches, athletes, researchers and industry experts to network, exchange ideas and showcase the latest trends and developments in the field.

The conference features a range of keynote speakers, panel discussions and practical workshops covering various aspects of strength and conditioning, including several domestic and international presenters from a variety of backgrounds.

Past presenters include Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm Coach), Craig Purdam (Former Head Physiotherapist at Australian Institute of Sport), Kim Brennan (Olympic Gold Medallist), Darren Burgess (High Performance Manager, Adelaide Crows Football Club), Phil Coles (Executive Director of Performance, Boston Celtics), and Al Vermeil (Former Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Chicago Bulls).

Topics include exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, sports psychology, injury prevention and program design. The conference also covers a wide range of sports and activities across team and individual sports, as well as tactical and occupational fields.

ASCA podcast

The ASCA podcast, hosted by Elite L3 Coach Joseph Coyne, includes several interviews with strength and conditioning experts from around the world. Topics covered include leadership, strength development, career development, coaching science, communication strategies, conditioning development, and speed development.

Funding opportunities

The ASCA Coach Scholarship Foundation is an initiative of the ASCA Board and course presenters who have agreed to donate a percentage of their presenter fees and workshop proceeds to the scholarship foundation.

The two objectives of the scholarship foundation are to increase the capabilities of S&C coaches working within the Australian sporting structure and to establish a self-sustaining scheme to cultivate and advance S&C Coaches.

These objectives are achieved by providing professional development opportunities to coaches from a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, and experience.

About the ASCA

The ASCA is led by an elected board of directors who are full-time employed in external roles and/or have extensive experience in strength and conditioning, ensuring that the ASCA is at the forefront of the industry through innovation and leadership.

The ASCA also has a number of subcommittees, which include the Women’s Advisory Committee, High School Advisory Committee, Tactical & Occupational Advisory Committee and Research Committee, whose terms of reference aim to provide guidance, leadership, and development opportunities to these specific areas.


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