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Cross Country Specialist Course

5/31 - Maximum capacity for the Cross Country Specialist Course has been reached. No additional registrations will be permitted and a waitlist is unavailable.

June 16-17, 2017
Villanova University - Villanova, PA


USATF Coaching Education offers a 12-hour course featuring technical classes, laboratory training sessions, cross country specialty drills, periodization training for the cross country season, team building strategies, and long term athlete development for the endurance runner. Legend and world-class distance coach, Dr. Joe Vigil, has developed the content for the course along with veteran distance coach and coach educator, Scott Christensen. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from these lead instructors! Coaches will participate in interactive discussion sessions in addition to the classroom and laboratory time.


Joe Vigil: A USATF Legend Coach, Vigil has coached athletes to 20 World Cross Country team and individual Medals and led Adams State College to 14 National Cross Country Championships, including a perfect score at the 1992 NCAA Division II National Championships.

Scott Christensen: Christensen is one of the country’s top high school cross country coaches, leading Stillwater High School in Minnesota. His accolades include 13 state titles and multiple National Top 10 High School rankings. He has served USATF’s delegations at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships as 2003 USATF junior team leader and 2008 USATF senior team leader. 

Each coach completing the class will be awarded a USATF Cross Country Specialist Certificate. All coaches are eligible, but must be at least 18 years of age to attend. There are no prerequisites, but there is a limited capacity for the course. Registrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

USATF Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - Earn 1 CEU from course completion to apply to USATF or other organizations' recertification requirements.


Villanova University
800 Lancaster Ave 
Villanova, PA 19085

Participants should arrange own housing and meals. Participants will have access to Villanova University cafeteria during the scheduled breaks.

Area hotels:
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia - Valley Forge
301 West DeKalb Pike
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 337-1200

Courtyard by Marriott Philadelphia Devon
762 W Lancaster Ave
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 687-6633

COURSE FEE: (limited capacity, first come basis)

$175.00 with a current USATF membership
$200.00 non USATF member

All coaches must be at least 18 years of age. No on-site registration will be available. All registrations are nonrefundable.

SCHEDULE: (*subject to change)

Friday, June 16:

  • 1:00 p.m. - Check-in at Villanova University
  • 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. - Lecture, History of Cross Country Running
  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Lecture, Cross Country Team Dynamics
  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Laboratory session on the track and adjacent fields
  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. - Dinner 
  • 6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. - Lecture, The Science of Cross Country Training
  • 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Coaches Panel with Marcus O'Sullivan, Head Men's Cross Country Coach, Villanova University; Gina Procaccio, Head Women's Cross Country Coach, Villanova University; Scott Christensen, Head Cross Country Coach, Stillwater High School.

Saturday, June 17:

  • 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - Lecture, Psychological Issues and Mental Toughness
  • 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. - Lecture, Application of Cross Country Training
  • 10.00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. - Lecture, Tapering Strategy
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Laboratory session: Drills, Hill training, managing varying surfaces
  • 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Exam
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Lecture, Training in Exotic Environments
  • 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Final comments; awarding of certificates
Learn the theory and skills that has produced High School State Championships, over six NCAA Cross Country Championships, and IAAF World Cross Country Champions. Dialogue and share with one of the greatest cross country coaches in the world.

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