Types of Special Olympics Volunteer Coach Roles
There are several roles for a volunteer who wishes to become involved in Special Olympics sports as a certified Sports Volunteer/Coach. While some coaches may choose to remain a Sports Volunteer, other coaches may strive to increase their level of certification. Coaches who wish to increase their coaching level can follow the recommended SONA Coach Education System outlined below.
- Sports Volunteer (team manager, equipment manager, practice volunteer, chaperone)
- Level 1 Certified Coach
- Level 2 Certified Coach
- Level 3 Certified Coach
Level 3 Coach
All Level 2 requirements and one of the following:
- Principles of Coaching Course Principles of Coaching
- Positive Coaching Alliance: Double Goal Coach: Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons
- Positive Coaching Alliance: Double Goal Coach: Culture, Practice, and Games
- Fundamentals of Coaching - NFHS
- Other advanced coaching course or NGB Course as approved by the Program
- *Level 3 coach - eligible to coach above Program level
Level 2 Coach
Level 1 Coach
All Sport Volunteer requirements and one of the following:
- A: Face-to-face sport specific training
- B: ASEP/NFHS/NGB sport specific training
- C: Sport webinar (under development by SONA)
- D: Review materials, online quiz, submit three practice plans, and post practice notes for three sessions to Program sports staff
*Options A through D may be waived at the Program's discretion if the volunteer possesses interscholastic coaching experience and/or an NGB certification
- Coaching Unified Sports Course - If coach will be coaching a unified aspect of the sport
Courses for Continuing Education
In order to maintain certification, a coach must update his/her certifications every three years. A non-comprehensive list of courses approved for continuing education include:
Special Olympics Idaho encourages coaches entering athletes for state-level competition to obtain sport-specific certification through the Special Olympics International on line coach's training.
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.
Special Olympics North America Coach Education System Overview
North America staff are continually evolving and enhancing our coach education system to meet the needs of volunteer coaches and the athletes they coach. The Coach Education System identifies basic minimum requirements for all coaches and recommendations for continuing education. The intent is to assist Special Olympics Programs in designing and providing quality sports training for Special Olympics coaches and ultimately the athletes.