Athlete Development Specialist Certificate

Activity Details

PAADS Athlete Development Certificate
Any time

Contact Information

1864 Stadium Drive
1864 Stadium Drive, College of Health and Human Performance
Gainesville, Florida 32608

The Professional Association for Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS) and the University of Florida (UF) have partnered to allow practitioners and students to receive specialized education and training in the field of Athlete Development.


UF and PAADS teaches the concept of Athlete Development through the following two bodies of knowledge:

Athlete Performance Development: The study and practice of the factors and processes that account for sport performance, athleticism, and sport health.

Athlete Personal Development: The study and practice of the factors and processes that account for athlete well-being,quality of life, and success away from sport. 


The program curriculum is built on the assumption that these two components amalgamate in the developmental process of athletes to allow them to meet their potential as a player in their sport domain, while also growing, developing, and succeeding in life away from sports, and in life after retirement from sports competition.

Students that earn the Athlete Development Specialist Certificate conferred by PAADS gain a basic cognitive understanding of the major factors that shape Athlete Performance Development. Topics addressed in this domain include athlete nutrition, physical training, fitness, health and safety, sport psychology, and athlete maturation. This acumen allows graduates to successfully communicate across the ecosystem of athlete development with nutritionists, athletic trainers, coaches, performance enhancement coaches, and mental health professionals.

Students in the program also acquire advanced knowledge and skillsets that shape Athlete Personal Development, including the critical competencies needed to assist athletes maintain their well-being and off-field success, both during their playing careers and in life after sports. Topics addressed in this domain include athlete fiscal literacy, media literacy, transitions in and out of sports, athlete identity development, athlete career development, mental health, professionalism and behavior.

Students in the program are also introduced to several sport business development topics including legal aspects of sport, sport business research, and sport industry management.



This course is taught completely online through the UF Canvas learning management system. Students are expected to view all of the course lectures and complete all assignments through the course website.

The course is delivered through 7 modules and students will be responsible for completing assignments within each module. Participants that complete the 7 course modules successfully will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from UF for this course.

Students that earn the Certificate of Completion for this ADSC Course can subsequently submit a copy of the Certificate directly to PAADS, along with proof of the completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, to receive a Certificate of Status as a Professional Level Athlete Development Specialist from PAADS (


The 7 modules that will be offered through this non-credit asynchronous continuing education course are:

1. The Field of Athlete Development

2. Athletes and Media Relations

3. Athlete Career Development and Transitions

4. Fundamentals of Athlete Personal Finance

5. Sport Business for Athlete Development Specialists

6. Psycho-Social Interventions for Athlete Development Specialists

7. Sport Science for Athlete Development Specialists




Link to Course Syllabus page