Special Olympics Idaho encourages coaches entering athletes for state-level competition to obtain sport-specific certification through the State Office. A coach's minimum requirement is to attend a Coach/Volunteer Orientation session and have a local Coach/Volunteer Application on file in the State Office.
Coaching Special Olympics athletes is the heart of the Special Olympics program. A coach must successfully manage the introduction of new skills, physical fitness, safety and involvement in competition for Special Olympics athletes. In order to do that, a coach should possess the following key competencies to be able to:
- Identify necessary skills that a coach should develop.
- Develop a training plan for a season.
- Develop a training plan for an individual practice.
- Identify how an individual with an intellectual disability learns sports skills and rules and what a coach can do to facilitate learning (i.e., training sequence, levels of instruction).
- Identify what obstacles may challenge an athlete to learn sports skills and rules and what to do to overcome them.
- Develop a plan to provide appropriate supervision during a day trip and an overnight trip.
- Identify successful competition-day coaching strategies.
Much of this information can be gained by attending the Coach/Volunteer Orientation and Coach Training Schools offered by Special Olympics Idaho throughout the year. Special Olympics Idaho coaches are encouraged to make further training part of their ongoing participation in the program.