Our coaches model good sportsmanship and character to enhance the overall sports experience for athletes. Lesson taught by you on the playing field-teamwork, self discipline, and confidence-carry over into the athlete’s everyday lives. 

It is encouraged for prospective coaches to have sport experience, but education opportunities and resources are available to properly prepare individuals for their role as coaches. Please note that the nature of the coaching role typically requires a greater time commitment than other volunteer opportunities.

In addition to the basic requirements, coaches responsibilities include:

  • Being available for practices, training and competition
  • Registering athletes for competition
  • Obtaining equipment for athletic training
  • Recruiting assistant coaches for your local training program (LTP)

Minimum age: 18 years old

Coaches Requirements

  • Volunteer forms and waivers: must be completed every three years. 
  • Background check: must be completed every three years. 
  • Protective Behaviors training: must be completed every three years. 
  • Heads Up Concussion in Youth Sports training: must be completed every three years. 
New Coaches

Find a local training program: Volunteers should only register as a coach below once they have been placed with a local training program. New coaches that have not been placed with a local training program should email volunteer@sonj.org. All new coaches that have been placed with a local training program can register as a coach.

Register as a coach:

Existing Coaches

All existing coaches can check the status of their current certifications by emailing volunteer@sonj.org.

Recertify as a coach:

Athletes as Coaches

After spending many years competing, Special Olympics athletes often want to explore a leadership role in coaching. It is important to note that once an athlete begins coaching a sport, that athlete may no longer compete in that sport.

The process for an athlete to become a coach is as follows:

  • The head coach of the program in which the athlete will coach needs to send a letter of intent to the state office, signed by the Area Director.
  • Upon approval, the athlete can complete the coaching requirements and get started!

For more information on how to become a coach, please email volunteer@sonj.org