The most common question that we get at UESCA is, “How is UESCA different from other certification companies?” Fair question to say the least. With multiple certification options out there, it can be confusing to say the least to find the one that is right for you. In this post, we will delve into 11 ways that UESCA is different from the competition.
Ahead of proceeding with this post, it’s important to note that like selecting a coach to work with, there is no ‘one size fits all’ certification. While we certainly believe that our certifications stand out among the rest, that is not to say that other certifications are bad – as that is not the case. Picking the ‘best’ certification is primarily a function of what you’re looking for and if the coaching philosophy of a particular certification aligns with your goals.
1. UESCA Team Approach
One of things that we’re most proud of at UESCA is our team of contributors and advisors. We sought out the top experts in all areas that our certifications delve into (ex: physiology, biomechanics, sports psychology, nutrition, etc…). As far as we’re concerned, content is king! Meaning, at the end of the day, the true worth of a certification is the accuracy and applicability of the content. This is why we didn’t attempt to create all of the content on our own. By partnering with advisors and contributors whose content was based in science and statistically significant evidence, we minimized as much as possible the chance for individual biases and the perpetuation of myth-based information.
2. No Continuing Education Credit/Unit (CEC/CEU) Fees
As a former fitness professional, I have grown to hate the standardized practice of continuing education as it pertains to most certification companies. While UESCA is a huge advocate and proponent of continuing education, it should not be primarily a money grab – which unfortunately is what it has devolved to in many cases.
Our policy is simple – every two years, write a short paper on a topic of your choosing that relates to endurance sports and cite professional papers (i.e., not blog posts) and your certification is renewed for another two years. No fee, no drama!
3. UESCA Coach Community
Perhaps the thing I’m most proud of about UESCA is our vibrant coach community. For example, our private Facebook UESCA Coaches group has over 760 coaches and I love seeing how coaches interact with each other for the benefit of everyone! Whether it be a training question, athlete referral offer or questions about our coach benefits, our community of coaches is second to none!
4. Not Tier Based
I’ve never personally understood the tier-based certification model. A tier-based model has multiple levels of certifications. For example, you start by obtaining a level (or tier) three certification and only once that is attained can you take the level two certification and so on and so on. While in theory it sort of makes sense in that you learn the basics to begin with and then you learn more detailed content as you progress through the certifications – we believe that this is a flawed model. Here’s why…
As a coach, you never know who is going to reach out to you for your services. It might be a totally deconditioned individual training for their first 5K, or it might be a seasoned athlete who is looking to win the national championships. Therefore, when it comes to the learning process to become a coach, you cannot make any assumptions. Our certifications, while robust and very comprehensive, will educate you to work with athletes of all levels.
5. Take Your Time
We don’t drip feed our content on a set schedule for one primary reason… we don’t believe that it is up to us to know how you learn best, or to tell you that you must learn a certain amount of information by a certain date. You get access to all of the content upon purchasing and have up to one year to take the exam. And you get lifetime access to all of the content, as well as any updates to the content!
6. 100% Online
While COVID has made online learning ubiquitous, we believe that online learning offers many benefits in comparison to in-person learning. First, you no longer have to travel and pay all of the associated costs (i.e., hotel, airfare, etc…). Second, in-person learning dictates that there are only so many available slots and on specific dates. Lastly, by offering online learning via text and videos, there is a continuity to the delivery of content that you just don’t get with varied instructors.
Whether it be email support or requesting a call with one of our team members, we’re here to support our students both during their studies, and after they become coaches.
One of the key things that make our certifications different is that we take a very detailed approach to learning. This granular approach ensures that no stone is left unturned and as a result, our students learn the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ behind training methodologies and most importantly, learn how to critically think and question the status quo.
9. Structured Like a 4 Year Degree
We don’t have any prerequisites for our courses. Meaning, we don’t require students to have a degree in an exercise science field or have ‘X’ number of years coaching under their belt. From the inception of UESCA, we wanted to make sure our content was accessible to anyone. In other words, we don’t make any assumptions on the education level, or coaching experience of our students. As such, our content is more or less structured like a 4-year degree. The first few modules are considered foundation modules (i.e., muscular/skeletal/energy systems) that teach how the body works… and from there, the content becomes more applied to sport-specific practices.
10. No Set Distances
We understand that athletes will likely participate in many different distances within a particular sport (ex: sprint to full distance triathlons). Therefore, unlike some other coaching certifications, we don’t limit our coaching content to just a few distances within a sport. We teach the core principles of how to coach a given sport, and then how to apply that knowledge across various distances.
11. 100% Money Back Guarantee
Last but not least, we want to ensure that anyone that purchases one of certifications made the right decision. While we believe our certification content is second to none, the fact of the matter is that it’s not for everyone and moreover, things come up in life that can derail even the most committed students. Therefore, we offer a 30-day, 100% money back guarantee for all of our certifications. We feel this is the best way to make sure that our certifications are the right fit for those that purchased.
While there are many differences between UESCA and other certification companies, the above 11 areas represent some of the more impactful differences. If you are an existing purchaser or UESCA coach, thank you for choosing UESCA and if you are thinking of becoming a coach, I welcome you to check us out at www.coachendurancesports.com. Thank you.
Rick Prince is the founder of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA), a science-based endurance sports education company. UESCA educates and certifies running, ultrarunning and triathlon coaches (cycling coming soon!) worldwide on a 100% online platform.
Click on the one of below links to learn more about our certifications and to get $50 OFF the purchase price!
Click here to download the UESCA Triathlon Course Overview/Syllabus
Click here to download the UESCA Running Course Overview/Syllabus
Click here to download the UESCA Ultrarunning Course Overview/Syllabus
Click here to sign up for information and launch alerts for the UESCA Cycling Certification