What Physical Education Certificates are Available for PE Teachers?


As with any teaching niche, PE teachers and coaches require specific skills to succeed. Physical education certificates give coaches the chance to expand their expertise in these areas. They also allow them to meet state rules for earning professional development credits.

Options for physical education certificates have expanded in recent years. They now range from strength and conditioning to social emotional learning. The variety has increased as coaching has more complex.

Role of Modern Physical Education Teachers

Physical education goes beyond teaching how to play a game. Sports coaches today “play a vital role in the contribution of sport to physical and psychosocial development,” according to “Coaching Excellence,” a book by Frank Pyke.

Pyke lists four areas where coaches can create positive student outcomes: character and caring, competence, confidence and connection. Coaches succeed in these areas by promoting social interaction, physical exercise and sport. All three help students learn, achieve and develop.

Coaches who earn a physical education certificate learn best practices for the tools and techniques of coaching. These include productive practices, strong communication skills and motivating athletes. Coaches ranked these as vital skills in a survey reported in The Sports Journal.

Fresno Pacific Physical Education Certificates

Fresno Pacific University offers 100% online courses in a variety of K-14 coaching topics. Online learning gives coaches the ability to schedule classes around busy sports travel schedules. 

Some PE teachers may have finished a course from Fresno Pacific. However, it’s useful to check and see other courses they can take to earn a certificate. The university offers the following.

Coaching for Excellence Certificate

The curriculum in the Coaching for Excellence Certificate courses start with a mandatory course in General Principles and Fundamentals. Coaches learn best practices based on sports science. They also hone their skills to organize, lead, motivate and evaluate students. 

Coaches also choose four elective courses that focus on specific sports, including baseball, basketball, cross country, football, swimming, track and field and volleyball. Other electives focus on coaching-related issues such as enhancing motivation, coaching female athletes and building character and sportsmanship.

Strength and Conditioning Certificate

PE teachers who earn the Strength and Conditioning Certificate learn theories and techniques for effective workouts, drills and training. Topics include sports nutrition and first aid, goal setting and establishing off-season and in-season programs. 

Coaches choose 15 units of elective courses from the long list of strength and conditioning related topics. They include:

  • Speed training
  • Strength training
  • Cross-training
  • Stretching
  • Plyometric training
  • Nutrition
  • Advanced Strength Training
  • Periodization training
  • Power training
  • Advanced Nutrition
  • Sport first aid
  • Interval training
  • Endurance training
  • Foam rolling
  • Pilates

Social Emotional Learning Certificate

The Social Emotional Learning Certificate teaches educators how to help students manage emotions, set positive goals, form positive relationships and make responsible decisions. It’s meant for all teachers, including coaches. One course within the program focuses on how sports can help students develop the social emotional skills they need for lifelong success.

PE teachers have more choices than ever for earning professional development credit. The above online classes help coaches expand knowledge and skills while earning the professional credit they need.


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