The better the coach, the better the opportunity, the better the athlete!
Minimum criteria to become a Special Olympics Maine Coach
Before serving as a Special Olympics Maine Coach each individual must first complete the minimum requirements below. A properly registered Special Olympics Maine coach is required to submit the Background Check, Protective Behaviors and Concussion Awareness & Safety Training every three years.
- Complete a Background Check – complete a background check online through Sterling Volunteers
- Complete Special Olympics Maine Class A Volunteer & Unified Partner Registration Form, Release & Communicable Disease Waiver.
- Complete Protective Behaviors training (only required if 18 years old and older, unless enrolled in High School)
- Complete Concussion Awareness & Safety Training (Head Coaches only & only required if 18 years old & older)
- Adhere to Coach Code of Conduct
Minimum criteria to become a Special Olympics Maine certified Head coach
Head Coach 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. 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. (Level 1 Coach Certification is required to participate in any State/Regional level SOME competitions). 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.
Coach Education & Training
Coach’s Training Schools are an integral part to Special Olympics Maine’s Coach Education System. Coach’s training schools are part of the Head Coach certification process which are designed to educate coaches in sports Special Olympics Maine offers along with the importance of training for competition. Special Olympics Maine Coach Education System is designed to promote the continuation of a coaches education through a 4 level system:
Are you interested in coaching Special Olympics athletes? If so, you have come to the right spot!
Level 1 Sport Specific
Coaches must attend a face-to-face sport specific training school which are provided year round across the state. Attendees will learn the sport events, rules & regulations, skills training and practice techniques to better train their athletes for competition. Upon completion of the coach’s training school, attendees will be required to fulfill 10 hours of practicum (only level 1 courses) with Special Olympics athletes. Once the 10 hours is complete a sport application is submitted to Special Olympics Maine; this will also certify the attendee as a Special Olympics Maine coach for three years in the sport. Level 1 certification courses, when organized will be listed in the Calendar of Events and listed below in the “Upcoming Coach’s Training School” section.
Level 2 Principles of Coaching
Coaches have the ability to complete online or face-to-face Level 2 coach’s training school. Level 2 builds upon coaching principles. Level 1 certification must be achieved prior to completing a level 2 course. Completion of one of the two Level 2 courses listed below will certify the coach as a Level 2 coach and maintain all currently held level 1 certifications.
Level 3 – Tactics and Philosophy
Coaches have the ability to complete online or face-to-face coach’s training school. Level 3 builds upon coaching tactics & philosophy. Level 2 certification must be achieved prior to completing a level 3 course. Completion of one of the Level 3 courses listed below will certify the coach as a Level 3 coach and maintain all currently held level 1 & 2 certifications.
- Complete a sport specific tactics course (online or face-to-face)
- Complete online course from the National Governing Bodies (i.e. Soccer =FIFA)
- Complete an online American Sport Education Program (ASEP) course – Click here to register for ASEP course
- Complete National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS) course – Click here to complete a NFHS course
- Positive Coaching Alliance – Click here to complete a Positive Coaching Alliance course
- Responsible Sports and others
- First-Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Course
- Athlete Behavior Characteristics and Strategies to Improve Learning
- Officials Training
Generally, any courses or professional development that help a coach become a better coach will be accepted
Level 4 – Comprehensive Mentoring
Level 3 coaches have the ability to mentor a new coach for their level 4 certification. Level 3 certification must be achieved prior to completing a level 4 course. Completion of a Level 4 certification will certify the coach as a Level 4 coach and maintain all currently held level 1, 2 & 3 certifications.
Coach’s training school are organized throughout the year across the state and upcoming coach’s training schools are listed on our Calendar of Events and listed below in the “Upcoming Coach’s Training School” section. There you will find more information on how to register, location, date and time of the coach’s training school.
Additional Coach Resources
Below, you can find forms, information and training opportunities you may need as a coach during your sport season.
- Sport Rules & Coaching Guides – Download rules & coaching guides for every sport in Our Sports section. We offer tools for planning a training season, teaching sports skills, and following the rules, protocol, and etiquette of each sport
- Upcoming Coach’s Training Schools – Coach’s Training Schools are an integral part to Special Olympics Maine’s Coach Education System. Coach’s training schools are part of the Head Coach certification process which are designed to educate coaches in sports Special Olympics Maine offers along with the importance of training for competition.
- SOME Athlete Eligibility Policy– Find out about our age and disability requirements to train and compete as a Special Olympics athlete.
- SOME Housing Policy– Find out about our athlete housing requirements for overnight events/competitions.
- SOME Athlete Participation Policy – Find out about our requirements to participate in our program.
- Strategies to Improve Learning & Performance – This is a general guide to coaching adults and children with intellectual disabilities (ID), focusing on some behaviors or characteristics commonly associated with ID.
- A Coach’s Playbook: An Introduction to Autism and Instructional Strategies for Coaching – As the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is becoming more prevalent, it is important that our coaches are trained to work with athletes who are on the autism spectrum.
- SOME COVID-19 Guidance 2022 Update – Local, state/provincial/territorial, or national or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations should serve as a primary guide for ensuring a safe environment for all participants at your Special Olympics trainings, competitions, and other activities. This Special Olympics guidance is for use in addition to – not in lieu of – any local, state/provincial/territorial, or national or tribal health and safety laws, rules. This updated guidance is at your disposal as you continue to safeguard and protect your participants.
- Additional coaching resources are available on the Special Olympics Inc. website.
Upcoming Coach’s Training Schools
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Questions about becoming a Special Olympics Maine Coach? Contact us.