The NICA Coaches License Program strives to ensure that coaches are sufficiently knowledgable so as to have a positive impact on NICA student-athletes.  The Professional Development requirements are intended to educate NICA coaches, both new and experienced, in the industry best-practices for a wide range of topics. A number of formats are provided to allow the greatest opportunity for coach participation.

Leaders Summit Webinars Non NICA Classes for PDUs Online Courses Coach Exams
9 units, including MTB 101 and Risk Management Free webinars ranging from information on the NICA Rulebook to How to Start and Manage a HS Team. Some non – NICA course can count as PDUs.  Ex: IMBA Trail Building Class, USAC trainings, etc. Positive Coaching Alliance online coaching program; True Sport Coaching Education; & CDC’s Heads up on Concussion in Youth Sports Assistant Coach and Head Coach Exam

Leaders’ Summits

The annual Leaders’ Summits, hosted by each NICA League, bring together coaches, assistant coaches, ride leaders, and parent volunteers—both new and experienced—to develop skills and knowledge, share strategies, and build community. These conferences promote a holistic approach to coaching that creates an environment in which young people can grow and thrive, and are the best opportunity for new coaches to become acquainted with the best practices of coaching NICA student-athletes.  Click here for more information.

Self-report Leaders’ Summit attendance to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.

Online Webinars

The NICA Ride Leader License requires 3 Professional Development Units.  These units may be obtained by attending the Leaders’ Summit or by participating in a series of online webinars provided by NICA and partnering organizations. These units are not eligible to be used toward a NICA Asst. Coach or Head Coach License (except as Continuing Education Units).  For upcoming Webinar’s click here.  If you would like to request a particular webinar, email  The online webinars are worth 1.5 professional development units.

Self-report webinar attendance to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.

Non-NICA Courses

If you feel you have taken a class that might qualify for NICA PDUs, self-report to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.  If it does qualify, NICA Coach Licensing will update your Coach Profile in the Pit Zone.  If we have any questions, we will follow up via email.  The IMBA Trail Building School is one of those programs, see more information below.

REI Outdoor School In-Store and Field Classes (coming soon!)

REI and NICA have teamed up to offer NICA coaches CEU’s for REI’s mountain bike skills instruction and bike maintenance programming. Various regions will have different programming options available, so check out the link below for classes near you. Bike skills instruction focuses on on-the-bike skills and takes place on local trails. These programs can last anywhere from 2 hours to a full day. Bike maintenance programming typically takes place at REI stores with qualified techs serving as instructors.

To find your nearest REI Outdoor School programming, click here and look for programming with the “NICA CEU Eligible Programming” link.

IMBA Trail Building School

IMBA and NICA have parterned together to provide NICA Coach License PDU (3 units) for attending IMBA’s Trail Building School.  The one day class teaches IMBA’s philosophies and trains local volunteers and land managers on how to build and maintain sustainable singletrack. The school involves three hours in the classroom followed by about four hours in the field doing hands-on trail work and field instruction. Plan this classroom session for Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information click here.

For upcoming IMBA Trail Building Schools and locations click here.


Online Courses

NICA has partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance ( which offers “The Double-Goal Coach” online webinar to NICA Coaches.  The interactive workshop introduces PCA’s Double-Goal Coach model and provides an in-depth review of the three principles around which it is built: Honor the Game, Fill Emotional Tanks, Re-define “Winner”. The course costs normally $30, but is only $18 with the NICA membership discount codes.  Please email Coach Licensing. for these discount codes.

The course is worth 1.5 professional development units.  To take the PCA’s “Double-Goal Coach” webinar, please go to PCA Double-Goal Coach.  After completion of the webinar, please upload certificate to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone


TrueSport® Coaching Educationcoach_clipboard3

NICA has partnered with USADA and TrueSport to provide coaching education that is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE). TrueSport’s coaching education is an online, self-guided learning platform empowering coaches – the most significant influencers in young athletes’ lives – with the knowledge and resources to cultivate, champion, and uphold the rich promise and highest potential of sport. The program includes three brief, distinct modules that work together to comprise TrueSport Coaching Certification, and utilizes engaging and interactive instructional tools. It promotes the principles of TrueSport and the renewal of the true spirit of athletic competition through instruction on:

  • developing a coaching philosophy and ethics;
  • effective communication and problem-solving techniques with athletes and parents;
  • drug-free sport (performance-enhancing substance prevention);
  • responsibility for sound nutrition and healthy training habits; and
  • supplement and energy drink awareness.

The full three-module course is $49.95, but is offered to NICA members for only $25.00. Click here for the Three Course Bundle, apply ‘nicacoach’ in the coupon area at checkout so that the discount is applied.  After completion of the webinar, please upload TrueSport Coach Certificate to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.  Each module is worth 1 NICA professional development unit.


CDC: Heads Up Online Training Course

Concussions might be an injury you as a coach will come upon.  As part of the NICA Coach License Program we now require new coaches complete the CDC’s Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports annually.    This is a free, online course available to coaches, parents, and others helping to keep athletes safe from concussion. It features interviews with leading experts, dynamic graphics and interactive exercises, and compelling storytelling to help you recognize a concussion and know how to respond if you think that your athlete might have a concussion. Once you complete the training and quiz, upload completion certificate to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.

Click here to take the course.

Coaches’ Exam

The Coaches Exam is a requirement for NICA Assistant Coach and Head Coach Licenses.  Coaches must complete professional development before taking the exam (taken at a NICA Leaders Summit).  If you are working toward a NICA Assistant Coach License you may take either exam.  The Head Coach exam is longer and more difficult.

The Coaches Exam may be taken online or at a Leaders’ Summit.  Contact Coach Licensing if you have any questions. Once you complete the exam, upload a screen shot of your exam results to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.