The better the coach, the better the opportunity, the better the athlete!
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.
Some Special Olympics coaches have coaching experience; some don’t. Some have experience with individuals with intellectual disabilities, some don’t. A coach can be a teacher, family member, or someone simply charged up to change others’ lives and their own!
To get connected as a new volunteer coach, first find Special Olympics near you and contact your Area Manager.
Below, you can find forms, information and training opportunities you may need as a coach during your sport season. Additional coaching resources are available on the Special Olympics Inc. website.
- Online Sterling Volunteer Background Check – The volunteer must be cleared by our Director of Volunteer Services prior to engaging in Class A volunteer service. Background checks must be completed every three years.
- Special Olympics Maine Class A Volunteer & Unified Partner Registration Form & Release – Volunteers ages 16+ who are serving in a position of authority with our athletes and program are required to submit a SOMaine Class A Volunteer & Unified Partner Registration Packet. Volunteers under age 18 who are serving in a position of authority with our athletes and program are required to submit a SOMaine Class A Volunteer & Unified Partner Registration Packet. The application includes a request for two non-family adult references, which must be updated every three years as long as the volunteer is involved and under 18. The volunteer must be cleared by our Director of Volunteer Services prior to engaging in Class A volunteer service. Submit online or download PDF to complete
- Complete Protective Behaviors Training and Quiz – The Protective Behaviors online training course and quiz gives guidance on how to treat our athletes respectfully and how to identify potential signs of abuse. Class A volunteer ages 18+ are required to complete this training and quiz every three years unless currently enrolled in High School.
- Complete Concussion Awareness and Safety Recognition Training (Head Coaches only & only required if 18 years old & older) – The Concussion Awareness & Safety Recognition online training courses and quiz gives guidance on how to help minimize the risks for concussion or other serious brain injuries. Class A volunteer ages 18+ are required to complete this training and quiz every three years.
- 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.
- COVID 19 Supplemental Form – All 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
- SOMaine Local Program COVID-19 Point of Contact Form – During COVID 19 Back to Play Protocol is in place, Special Olympics Maine requests that all individuals organizing and executing training, competition and other activities on behalf of a Special Olympics Maine Local Program (Delegation/Team) complete the COVID 19 Response Person Contact Form. This form will provide Special Olympics Maine contact info for each COVID 19 Response Person for Local Programs that will be in charge of leading any training in Phase 1 & 2. During Phase 1 & 2, a Local Program COVID 19 Response Person will be responsible for all team members (athletes, unified partners, coaches etc.) and their adherence to Special Olympics Maine’s Back to Play protocol for each specific Special Olympics Maine training or competition. A Local Program can assign multiple COVID 19 Response Persons if they have 1 or more people leading Special Olympics Maine activities.
- 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.
- Coach Code of Conduct – Special Olympics coaches and assistant coaches should model respectful behavior and good sportsmanship. The standards of behavior in our Coach Code of Conduct help us oversee quality training and competitions along with creating a positive environment for our athletes, volunteers, fans, and families.
- 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
Coach’s Training Schools & Coach Certifications
- Coach Certification Process – Find out how to become a Special Olympics certified coach.
- SOME – Coach Education System 2020– 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.
- 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.
- Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Online Course – Through this three-hour course, you will develop a better understanding of how people with intellectual disabilities learn and how they participate in sports. The course offers a solid overview of the coaching principles involved in working with Special Olympics athletes, as well as practical ideas that you can immediately use in your teaching and coaching. The cost for the course is $16.95.
- 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.
- Coaching Unified Sports® Online Course Online Course – While many of the coaching challenges are similar – defining roles in line with ability and fostering teamwork – coaching a Unified Sports team is unlike any other coaching position. Goals, motivations and even the meaning of winning are different. With an introduction by Brenda and Kurt Warner, this NFHS course will help you understand and implement the most successful coaching strategies for this very special mix of teammates. This course is free.
- Principles of Coaching Online Course –The Principles of Coaching course details the application of coaching identity, responsibility, and strategy within Special Olympics by providing foundation knowledge related to both coaching and disabilities.
- 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.
Director of Training
207-879-0489 x 14