Uncovering the training of Haven coaches

Coaches receive specific training to lead athletic teams.


Sylvan Prey-Harbaugh '23

Boys track and cross country coach Glenn Venturini speaks with athletes during the indoor track meet at Lehigh University on Feb. 18.

Jason Zhang '26, Contributor

There’s more to high school sports coaching than meets the eye.

From first aid knowledge to coaching camps, high school coaches go through a multitude of courses to ensure that they not only can lead their teams, but also help in a time of medical crisis.  

“Every year I have to take concussion tests where I need [to] know how to treat a concussion. The second course is sudden cardiac injuries and how to deal with them,” Haven football coach Mr. Kevin Clancy said. “The third training we need to take is heat, heat acclimatization, and understanding heat related illnesses.” 

Coaching a sports team involves much more than just teaching the players how to play the game. In addition to ensuring the safety and well-being of their athletes, coaches must also be prepared to handle a variety of other issues that may arise throughout the season. 

Therefore, the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) and Strath Haven require all new coaches to complete a series of first aid and general coaching training designed to teach new coaches with how to conduct the most efficient practices and how to handle different scenarios if something was to go wrong.

“From purely a PIAA standpoint there’s required first aid, and general coaching training for newer coaches,” Athletic Director Mr. Pat Clancy said. “There’s required principles in coaching courses that we provide online for any new coaches, and they have to complete the courses within the first two years of their employment.”

There’s not just purely medical training behind becoming a high school coach. According to Mr. Pat Clancy, the coaches’ training includes the details—like how to react if there’s issues with transportation, what do you do if the bus breaks down, or what you would do if you have parent conflicts. 

New coaches also attend clinics to prepare for their specific coaching position. 

“Most sports have clinics where coaches can go and listen to speakers, college coaches, or professionals talk about the sport and new coaches pick up things from those conferences or they could take notes from other high school coaches,” Mr. Kevin Clancy said. “There’s an awful lot of specific stuff online that you can get as well to learn how to become a better coach.”