Coaching Resources


Some prospective Special Olympics coaches have coaching experience; some don’t. Some have experience with individuals with intellectual disabilities, some don’t. A coach may be a teacher, family member, a volunteer from other areas of Special Olympics, or someone simply charged up to change others’ lives and their own!

Coach Education
Ongoing coaches education is the most significant factor in the improved training of athletes. The goals of Special Olympics’ Coaches Education programs are:

  • To provide every coach working in a sport with a basic knowledge of that sport (events, rules, basic skills and how to teach those skills).
  • To provide all coaches with knowledge about Special Olympics, its history, philosophy and goals.
  • To provide all coaches with knowledge about persons with intellectual disabilities and the current trends in this field.
  • To provide coaches with information on sports injury, risk management and providing a safe environment.
  • To provide a practical experience coaching Special Olympics athletes, in order to put into practice information provided by the Coaches Education Program.
  • To provide coaches with general knowledge about the art and science of coaching sports.

Special Olympics provides our volunteer coaches with the basic principles, techniques and tools to effectively coach Special Olympics athletes. Coaches education is necessary and mandatory. Our athletes deserve the most knowledgeable coaches who are trained, who can access sport-specific coaching guides and rules, who provide the safest environment in which to train and compete and who receive ongoing education. Click below for resources and online courses that support Special Olympics coaching education.

Click here to learn about our Coach Excellence Program.

Other Online Resources
Special Olympics offers a comprehensive set of Coaching Guides in each sport and the Special Olympics Summer and Winter Rules Book are available in print and online in several languages.   Here is a listing of documents in Spanish.

Divisioning Explained
At Special Olympics we love the thrill of the game and pushing our limits to achieve a new personal best!  Through divisioning Special Olympics athletes get a fair and equal opportunity to compete regardless of ability level, giving them the greatest chance of achieving success.

Find your local program. 
Coaching Guides
Special Olympics General Rules
Protective Behaviors Training
General Orientation
Coaches Code of Conduct

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How to Become a Partner
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