Thank you for being a Special Olympics New Jersey Young Athlete coach!

Your time, effort and compassion are the reasons why Young Athletes community programs continue to grow and reach families throughout the state.

Young Athletes is a foundational sports play program for children ages 2 – 7. Young Athletes introduces basic gross motor, social and sport skills through play. Most importantly, Young Athletes gives families of children with disabilities to celebrate their children’s accomplishments and see their incredible potential.

One Program; Three Models
There are three models of Young Athletes: Home, Community and School. The Home and Community models are closely linked. You are the coach of a Community program. A participant in your program must be registered first (Home program) to be eligible to enroll in your community program. A participant can be registered as a Young Athlete (child with a disability) or a unified partner (child without a disability).

Your Role as Coach

Part teacher, counselor, cheerleader, task master, planner, nurse, behaviorist and entertainer; a Young Athletes coach wears many hats (literally and figuratively).

We recognize the energy you put forth in the planning and running of your sessions. Whether you are completely new or have a few years of experience, you are always seeking to learn new things, try new activities and experiment with different routines.

These resources are designed to support all of your efforts, inspire you and encourage you to share your experiences with other coaches.


  1. Create a group game that helps promote social skills that can be used for future participation in sports!
  2. Video your game in action and then send us the video online!
  3. Videos will be posted for coaches and SONJ staff to vote on their favorite. The winner will receive their choice of equipment from Flaghouse or Lakeshore (up to $75) for their program!

Entries due by November 30, 2019. Winner selected in December 2019.