Volunteer coaches come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and don’t need prior experience – we provide the necessary training and resources. Coaches play a unique and indispensable role in Special Olympics around the world. They:
Special Olympics coaches often find that the personal rewards received are equal to or even outweigh the benefits they offer the athletes.
Coaches can be certified at age 16; however, all Head Coaches must be at least 18 years old.
Volunteers that are younger than 16 can provide coaching assistance and event and competition support under the supervision of a parent, guardian or certified head coach or assistant coach.
Absolutely. Special Olympics relies on the families of the athletes for a variety of volunteer positions. The age restrictions noted above apply to all family coaches.
Coaches can volunteer for Community programs and Competition programs.
Coaches who enjoy working with athletes at a community level can learn necessary skills through the Community Sport Coaching Program. This one-day course focuses on helping foster a love of sport, promote participation, and teach basic skills to beginners of all ages through a variety of activities. For details on workshop content, please review our Community Stream Workshop Content guideline document.
For coaches looking to work with athletes at local, nationaland international competitions, the Competition Sport Coaching Program two-day course focuses on sport specific and competition-based fitness. Following training, a coach can choose to become certified in the Competition – Introduction context through an evaluation process managed and coordinated by national sport organizations (NSOs).
Step 1: Volunteer contacts Chapter/Local Program
Step 2: Chapter/Local Program representative meets w/ volunteer for screening/placement purposes (in-person/phone) and checks their references.
Step 3: Volunteer is assigned to a program
Step 4: Volunteer attends Chapter/Local Program orientation event (if applicable)
Step 5: Volunteer completes the online orientation and quiz/Police Record & Vulnerable Sectors Checks. If a PRC has been completed within the last 12 months, volunteers will not be asked to complete another one at this time.
Step 6: Volunteer starts with program
Step 7: Volunteer completes NCCP training within 1 year of starting with a program
To begin your coaching experience with Special Olympics, please complete these forms and send them along to the Regional Coordinator in your community: