Become a Coach

The better the coach, the better the opportunity, the better the athlete! -Coach’s Oath

In the name of all coaches, we shall follow written and verbal instructions of Special Olympics officials at all times, have our athletes at the appropriate events and activities at the proper time and abide by the rules and policies, in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Are you a fan of sports and coaching? Then you came to the right sport!  Our Coach Certification program prepares and educates Special Olympics coaches who want to improve their coaching skills, and better understand how to lead and support Special Olympics athletes.

The key to improving athlete performance and well-being is based on the quality of sport training and experiences provided by the local Special Olympics coach.  Special Olympics Maine’s Coach Education System identifies basic standards and competencies necessary and essential for being a Special Olympics coach along with explaining the coach certification process.

More Than a Coach

Coaches teach the skills and spirit that define a true athlete. Coaches are role models and character-builders.

Special Olympics coaches go even further—they help athletes with intellectual disabilities find their own strengths and abilities. They also show them how to build upon those strengths and improve every day.

As a Special Olympics coach, you bring enthusiasm, commitment and a positive attitude to each practice, event and competition. You will enrich the lives of our athletes in many life-changing ways. The skills and confidence an athlete learns through sports have a long and lasting effect. They can help an athlete succeed in school or even find a job.

Coaches also get a lot in return. They get to know athletes who inspire—athletes who are brave and determined, despite the odds against them. Coaches become more than teachers, mentors and role models—they are seen as leaders in the community.

Coaching Excellence

Special Olympics is committed to coaching excellence—because it benefits both coaches and athletes at the same time. In a supportive learning environment, coaches work to enhance athletes’ sport techniques, tactics and fitness.

We partner with sports organizations to provide the highest and most up-to-date level of coaching knowledge.

Coaching education helps our coaches recognize each athlete’s potential. It also comes into play as we increase training and competition. Those opportunities help each athlete can reach—or exceed—their personal best.

Special Olympics focuses on our athletes.

Our coaches aim high and take pride in their athletes’ achievements, which can often be life-changing moments.

Coach Description

Coach refers to an individual who assumes responsibility for athletes, actively trains athletes and works directly with athletes on the field of play.  Coaches not only provide skills training for athletes but they are also role models and character builders. Coaches give Special Olympics Athletes the most immediate awareness of their own worth, ability, courage and capacity to grow and improve.

Minimum criteria to become a Special Olympics Maine Coach

(head & assistant coaches – any individual, 16 & older, that will be attending & supervising Special Olympics Athletes at any SOME competition/event).  Before serving as a Special Olympics Maine Coach each individual must first complete the 4 minimum requirements below (Head Coach must complete 5 minimum requirements).  Each of the minimum requirements must be completed every three (3) years.

  1. Complete a Background Check – complete a background check online through Sterling Volunteers
  2. Complete Special Olympics Maine Class A Volunteer & Unified Partner Registration Form & Release.  Submit online  or download PDF to complete
  3. Complete Protective Behaviors training (only required if 18 years old and older, unless enrolled in High School)
  4. Complete Concussion Awareness & Safety Training (Head Coaches only & only required if 18 years old & older)
  5. Complete Communicable Disease Release of Liability Waiver – All athletes, Unified partners, coaches and volunteers must submit this waiver to Special Olympics Maine prior to returning to in-person activities.  Submit online or download PDF to complete.
  6. Complete COVID 19 Supplemental FormAll athletes, Unified partners, coaches and volunteers are requested to submit this form to Special Olympics Maine prior to returning to in-person activities. At this time, this information is just for planning purposes, not for qualification for Special Olympics Maine events.  Submit online via the Return to Play App by clicking here, or DocUSign or  click here to download to complete download PDF to complete.
  7. Adhere to SOME Coach’s Code of Conduct

Minimum criteria to become a Special Olympics Maine certified Head coach

Delegations are required to have a certified Head Coach at all State/Regional Level competitions for each sport specific team their athletes compete in.  New delegations and existing delegations that need to replace a head coach will have 1 year to meet their delegation’s head coach requirements.

Head Coach

(Level 1 Coach Certification is required to participate in any State/Regional level SOME competitions) Assumes overall responsibility for a delegation’s sport specific team.  They must be at least 18 years of age and a responsible individual who can commit time on a weekly basis throughout the respective sport season.  In the sports of Basketball and Soccer, delegations that have multiple teams must have a certified head coach for each of the teams competing from their delegation (i.e. A delegation brings 2 soccer teams to compete, each of their 2 teams must have 1 certified head coach in soccer).

To become a certified Head Coach, a coach must attend a Coach’s Training School in the sport their athletes compete in.  Coach’s Training Schools are offered throughout the year and state to provide skills and tools needed to coach Special Olympics Athletes in the sports they train and compete in.


Contact Us

Sports & Programs Coordinator
Sarah Phelps
207-879-0489 x 16