Coaches are the backbone of our program and we want to provide the support and education they need to be successful. The purpose of the NICA Coach License Program is to offer comprehensive training to coaches so that they are equipped to provide quality programming to student-athletes that meets national standards and best practices while developing strong mind, body and character.

Below are currently scheduled training opportunities. To register for a course, please click on the link. Upon completion, upload the certificate to your coach profile in the Pit Zone.

On-the-Bike Skills Training

On-the-Bike Skills 101 and On-the-Bike Skills 201. Coaches learn the progressive steps needed to teach both basic and advanced mountain biking skills, experiential teaching techniques, how to accommodate different learning styles and how to create a positive learning environment for young riders. Taught by NICA-certified skills trainers. Required for coach license Level 2 and Level 3.

Note: OTB 101 is a prerequisite for OTB 201 and 101/201 MAY NOT be taken on the same day or successive days.


Leaders’ Summit

The ACA’s annual Leaders’ Summit brings together coaches, parents, volunteers and industry professionals to develop skills and knowledge, share strategies and build community. The conference promotes a holistic approach to coaching that creates an environment in which young people can grow and thrive, and is the best opportunity for new coaches to become acquainted with the best practices of coaching student-athletes.

Required for coach license Level 3. First time attendance is applied to the licensing requirement (NICA Leaders’ Summit 1-Day); attendance at a subsequent Summit may be applied to CEUs.


First Aid Training

Mountain biking is a sport of inherent risks and injuries can happen away from municipal emergency medical services. Geography of your practice areas is the primary factor used in choosing which First Aid course is appropriate for you and other coaches on your team. They key definition to reference is “time to definitive care.” Time to definitive care means approximately long it would take for Emergency Medical Services to reach, evacuate and deliver a critically injured patient to a hospital. NICA defines practice areas that are within one hour of definitive care as “front country or urban,” and areas that are beyond one hour of definitive care as “wilderness.”

Level 1 Appropriate Courses: Level 1 has been assessed as not needing first aid training as they are either leading practices in a city park with rapid EMS response OR are assisting Level 2 or Level 3 coaches if going on any trails.

Level 2 Appropriate Courses: Basic First Aid (4+ hours) OR NICA-approved First Aid (8 hours) for coaches practicing within one hour of definitive care and Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) for coaches practicing more than one hour from definitive care.

Level 3 Appropriate Courses: NICA-approved First Aid (8 hours) for coaches practicing within one hour of definitive care and Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) for any coaches practicing more than one hour from definitive care.

The CPR requirement is straightforward. It is the same training and requirement for Level 2 and Level 3 coaches regardless of the areas your that team practices.

Visit the First Aid Requirements page on NICA’s site for additional details. Coaches may take First Aid and CPR training from any licensed organization.


Original Certification

  • March 13-14, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
  • March 13, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Phoenix
  • March 14, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Phoenix
  • March 19-20, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
  • March 21, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Flagstaff


  • March 13, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
  • March 20, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
  • March 21, 2021 (in person) – Flagstaff

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

A coach must complete Continuing Education Units every 3 years to maintain (not attain) a Level 2 or Level 3 NICA coach license. The Level 2 coach must complete three CEUs every three years; the Level 3 coach must complete nine CEUs every three years. Generally, one hour of course work equals one CEU.

There are a variety of ways to complete the CEUs. The best way to complete CEUs is by attending a Leaders’ Summit. The first time a coach attends a Leaders’ Summit, credit is applied to the licensing requirement. Any time a coach attends a subsequent Leaders’ Summit, that attendance will be applied to CEUs.

NICA also offers several options for CEUs outside of Leaders’ Summit with partner organizations. Please see the Education page on NICA’s site and look under Non-NICA Courses and Online Courses for a list of qualifying courses.

The NICA coach must present (upload to Pit Zone) an official certificate of completion to be granted CEU credit from any outside organization. The certificate must include the number of course hours, a signature/official approval from the organization or instructor and the date of completion.

Coaches may submit trainings from other organizations for consideration for CEUs. Please note, course hours must be specific and relevant to coaching adolescents, to mountain biking and cycling skills. CEUs are valid for three years from the time of completion, not submission.