New Course Available in NFHS Learning Center for Adapted Sports Coaches

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For the first time, individuals who coach students with physical disabilities have a new resource through “Coaching Adapted Sports, ” an online education course available through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Learning Center at

Adapted sports is an inclusive education-based sports program, which unites students with a variety of physical disabilities onto teams and follows an interscholastic system of multiple sports seasons. Students participating in adapted sports programs experience positive educational benefits while often gaining improvements in achievement, academic performance, physical development and peer friendships.

“Our goal is to offer courses to meet the needs of all students,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services. “We are pleased to offer this course for adapted sports coaches.”

Created in association with the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP), “Coaching Adapted Sports” is designed to help coaches learn more about enhancing the education experience for students in adapted sports.

“In previous years, we have offered coursework for individuals who work with those who are intellectually disabled,” Schuster said. “Now, this completes our offerings to include those who support students with physical disabilities.”

“The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP) is proud to partner with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in creating a step-by-step course for coaches to successfully implement interscholastic adapted sports for students with physical disabilities," said Bev Vaughn, AAASP executive director and co-founder. "This marks a significant and major milestone in this area of sport development and opens the door to many new and exciting opportunities for these deserving student-athletes to realize their full potential both on and off the court.” 

“Coaching Adapted Sports” assists coaches in providing a positive experience for their students. Interscholastic students with physical disabilities have specific needs, which could prevent them from enjoying the positive experiences available to other students who participate in athletics and team sports.

Units available within the course include “How to Build Your Adapted Sports Team,” “Interscholastic Seasons and Sports” and “Adapted Sports Basic Skills.” Additionally, proper terminology and its importance, including the difference between ‘adapted’ and ‘adaptive,’ for example, is explained.

Basic rules for wheelchair team handball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair football and adapted track and field are explained in the course.

The course also includes various video components with periodic quizzes to reinforce learning objectives.

Additionally, the “Coaching Adapted Sports” course fulfills the sport-specific course criteria for obtaining NFHS Learning Center certifications as Accredited Interscholastic Coach (AIC) and Certified Interscholastic Coach (CIC).

After starting with two courses – Fundamentals of Coaching and First Aid for Coaches – in 2007 through the former NFHS Coach Education Program, the NFHS Learning Center now offers more than 70 online courses, including more than 30 that are free.

In addition to “Coaching Adapted Sports,” the NFHS Learning Center offers more than 25 other sport-specific courses. Courses are now available to students, coaches, parents, administrators, officials and performing arts/educators.

Since the launch of in 2007, the NFHS has delivered more than 8.5 million courses.

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