Training Schools for Coaches
If you have been looking for an opportunity to coach Special Olympics Athletes, start the process by becoming a certified coach. A Training School includes rules updates, organizing an eight week training plan, and best practices in coaching Special Olympics Athletes. Sport Skills Program materials are provided to each participant. Coaches will need to complete at least ten (10) additional hours of training with the athletes in order to be certified.
Description of Courses at SOPA Training Schools:
- General Orientation – Click here for Online Training. This is a general introduction to Special Olympics and any new volunteer or coach should take this training prior to working with athletes.
- Protective Behaviors – Online Training that must now be completed every three years. Available by clicking here, this training must be completed by all new and existing Class A volunteers (16 years of age and older) prior to working with Special Olympics athletes.
- New Coach (skills) - Specific to your Sport Training Schools. Sports Training Application *Please note: There is no online training available for new coaches.
- Coaching Special Olympics Athletes- this course is an overview of four components: athlete, coach, training and competition. If you are a new coach with sport experience you are encouraged to take this course instead of a basic Skills Course. Pre-approval is required. Track 2 Application
- Continuing Education Training - this training is for certified coaches. Coaches must receive continuing education training every 3 yearsto maintain their certification. Without this training coach certification expires which means the coach would need to take the new coach course over again. For a complete list of courses which will meet the Continuing Education requirement of the SOPA Coach Education Program, please click here.
Multi-Sport Training Schools
UPCOMING TRAINING SCHOOLS:
1. Fundamentals of Kayaking Training – Saturday, July 20, 2013 (Adams County)
This training will serve as both an introduction to the sport of kayaking as well as well as certification training for those coaches looking to earn their kayak coach certification.
Time: 9am - 3pm
Location: Codorus State Park: 2600 Smith Station Rd. Hanover, PA 17331
Cost: Attendees must provide thier own lunch
To register please email Ed Ball at
Help Wanted:The success of a training school is measured by the quality of instruction. If you are very knowledgeable about your sport including successful experiences as a coach, teacher and presenter please consider volunteering to be a Special Olympics Sport Clinician. Click here for Clinician Application
Any questions, call 1-800-235-9058, ext. 245.
Join the team of Special Olympics Heroes!
Special Olympics Pennsylvania Coach Training School Schedule
WHEN TRAINING SCHOOLS ARE OFFERED
SPORTS FOR WHICH TRAINING IS HELD
|Winter Sports & Bowling
||Late November - January
||Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Speed Skating, Snowshoeing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey & Bowling
||Late March - April
||Athletics, Aquatics, Basketball, Golf, Softball, Gymnastics, Equestrian, Tennis
||Soccer, Volleyball, Powerlifting, Bocce, Roller Skating, LDR/W
Special Olympics Pennsylvania is committed to conducting 2 multi-sport Coach Training Schools in each section of the state (Eastern, Western, Central) for Summer and Fall Sports and 1 multi-sport Coach Training School in each section of the state for Winter Sports. Current Coach Training School dates and locations are listed above.
With approval, local programs may conduct their own Coach Training Schools. Programs wishing to conduct a Coach Training School must submit a Training School Registration Form.
Special Olympics Pennsylvania reserves the right to cancel any scheduled Coach Training School with fewer than 5 people registered to attend.
If you are interested in having a SOPA sponsored Coach Training School in your area, please contact Shane Kiesner at
or Jennifer Tresp at
Certified Coaches Reports -
- April 5, 2013 - May 5, 2013
- March 5, 2013 - April 5, 2013
- February 5, 2013 - March 5, 2013
- January 5, 2013 - February 5, 2013
- December 5, 2012 - January 5, 2013
- November 5 - December 5, 2012
- October 17 - November 5, 2012
Sports Certification and Continuing Education Online Courses
Through new online course offerings Special Olympics Pennsylvania coaches may now take online courses to either earn (Track 2 only) or maintain their certifications. New online courses introduced by Special Olympics North American in conjunction with American Sports Education Program (ASEP) and the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) include Coaching Special Olympics Athletes and Coaching Unified Sports. Completion of the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes and Coaching Unified Sports courses fulfill the continuing education requirement for all sports in which an individual is currently certified. Individuals who qualify to earn their initial sports certification following Track 2 of the SOPA Coach Education Program may take the online Coaching Special Olympics Athletes course in place of attending the in-person training course.
Special Olympics Pennsylvania makes these courses available to coaches, but does not prepare the content, nor do we set the fees for those courses with a cost. Special Olympics Pennsylvania does not receive any portion of those amounts charged per course. Our goal in offering these courses is to provide as many opportunities as possible for coaches to meet the requirements of the SOPA Coach Education Program while giving them the knowledge to provide the best possible coaching for our athletes.
Track Two Coaching Certification – Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Online Course:
Individuals with extensive prior coaching or playing background in a sport in which they want to become certified may earn their certification by completing the new Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course offered by the American Sport Education Program. (Please note this course costs $16.95 per person and individuals have one year to complete the course from the time they register for it.)
To earn a Track Two Coaching Certification using the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course a coach must:
- Complete the Special Olympics General Orientation. After review the material click on the Online Training Test, click finish after providing us with your information and answering all the questions on the General Orientation Quiz.
- Complete the Special Olympics Protective Behaviors Training.
- Submit for review and approval a Sport History Applicationoutlining their experience in the sport. (If approved, the coach would complete the below steps. If denied, the coach must earn their certification by completing the Track One certification steps outlined on the SOPA Coach Overview page of the Website.
- Register for and complete the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course.
- Complete a 10 hour practicum coaching athletes in the sport in which they want to become certified.
- Complete and submit the Special Olympics Sports Training Application.
Continuing Education (Recertification) Course Options
By completing one of the continuing education courses listed below, which has “recertification for all current sports certifications” written after it, and completing and submitting a Sports Training Application each current certification will be renewed for three additional years regardless of the date it was earned. Completion of those courses listing "recertification only" for a specific sport will renew current certifications in that sport only for three additional years.
Positive Coaching Alliance
- Double Goal Coach (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $30.00
- Second-Goal Parents (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $30.00
The American Sports Education Program
Not all courses listed below are available by clicking on the above link . The courses on the Special Olympics North America (SONA) page are the ones that ASEP and SONA have partnered to offer Special Olympics coaches at a reduced rate of $16.95 or $19.95. To select a course not listed on the Special Olympics North America page, go to the homepage and click on Courses and Tests, then click on either Coaches or Officials on the left hand side of the page, then click on "Buy a course (Course Catalog)" in the main body of the page. The courses below will then be available.
- Coaching Special Olympics Athletes (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $16.95
- Coaching Youth Basketball (recertification for Basketball only) - $19.95
- Coaching Youth Soccer (recertification for Soccer only) - $19.95
- Coaching Youth Softball (recertification for Softball only) - $19.95
- Coaching Youth Tennis (recertification for Tennis only) - $19.95
- Coaching Youth Volleyball (recertification for Volleyball only) - $19.95
- Coaching Principles (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $70.00
- Sports First Aid (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $50.00
- Officiating Principles (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $50.00
- Coaching Strength and Conditioning Principles (recertification for all current sports certifications) – $49.95
- Coaching Swimming Principles (recertification for Aquatics only) - $49.95
The National Federation of State High School Associations
- Fundamentals of Coaching Basketball (recertification for Basketball only) - $50.00
- Fundamentals of Coaching Golf (recertification for Golf only) - $50.00
- Fundamentals of Coaching Soccer (recertification for Soccer only) - $50.00
- Fundamentals of Coaching Softball (recertification for Softball only) - $50.00
- Fundamentals of Coaching Track and Field (recertification for Athletics only) - - $50.00
- Fundamentals of Coaching Volleyball (recertification for Volleyball only) - $50.00
- Fundamentals of Coaching (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $75.00
- First Aid for Coaches (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $50.00
- Teaching and Modeling Behavior (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $20.00
- Teaching Sports Skills (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $50.00
- Engaging Effectively with Parents (recertification for all current sports certifications) - $20.00
- Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know (recertification for all current sports certifications) – Free
- A Guide to Heat Acclimation and Heat Illness Prevention(recertification for all current sports certifications) – Free
- Coaching Unified Sports (Special Olympics specific course – recertification for all current sports certifications) – Free
- Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment (recertification for all current sports certifications) – Free
- A Guide to Sports Nutrition (recertification for all sports certifications) - Free
Special Olympics –
West Virginia University –
Proof of completion of the course must be submitted along with a completed Sports Training Applicationbefore the coach record will be updated to reflect completion of continuing education and recertification. Coaches applying for continuing education credit are no longer required to complete 10 hours of practicum time working with athletes.
For a complete list of courses (both online and in-person) which will meet the Continuing Education requirement of the SOPA Coach Education Program, please click here .