Special Olympics International mandates that all coaches complete basic requirements before they begin coaching. These requirements must be completed by individuals who know what athlete(s) or team they will be coaching. If you have not yet been connected to a program, visit the Become A Coach page.

If you are connected with a program, please complete the below requirements. Coach requirements must be retaken every three years to maintain coach eligibility.

1. Class A Registration

Send your full name, email and Local Training Program (team name) to volunteer@sonj.org. Upon sending, you will get an email detailing the next steps.

2. Protective Behaviors and Concussion Certifications

Protective behaviors and concussion are both located on the same portal from Special Olympics. The first time you are visiting the portal you will need to create a new account. Below are the step by step instructions to access and complete these certifications.

To create an account please follow these instructions:

  1. Go to learn.specialolympics.org
  2. Select your learning area, Protective Behaviors and/or Concussion.
  3. Select the orange text under the login button “Don’t have an account? Create one.”
  4. Fill out the required information. Be sure to select “Protective Behaviors” or “Concussion” as your learning area
  5. Input the “Captcha” code and submit the form
  6. Navigate to the email you used to sign up and find the email from “Okta-No reply”
  7. Click the one-time activation link (teal button) in the email to activate your account and set a password
  8. Login to the Special Olympics Online Learning Portal by going to learn.specialolympics.org, selecting your learning area (Protective Behaviors) and inputting your email and the password you have chosen

You can also access visual cues/instructions.

Next Step: Get Certified!

Once the above requirements are complete, you are cleared to participate as a coach. All coaches are encouraged to earn official coach certifications provided through Special Olympics New Jersey’s nationally-accredited Coach Education System for free. In this System, coaches will learn about the basics of Special Olympics New Jersey, coaching expectations and responsibilities, sport technicalities, the athlete population, adaptive training and coaching sciences.


If you have questions contact Volunteer Services at volunteer@sonj.org.