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Special Olympics North America

Welcome Special Olympics North America coaches!

Special Olympics is an international year-round program of sports training and competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities. More than 4.2 million athletes in more than 170 countries train and compete in 30 Olympic-type individual and team sports. Both summer and winter sports are offered.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their families and community. Athletes and their families are not charged a fee to participate in Special Olympics. Visit Special Olympics online at www.SpecialOlympics.org.

Human Kinetics offers online courses for Special Olympics North America (SONA) coaches seeking level-one certification as well as for veteran coaches seeking continuing education. The Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course satisfies two conditions for Special Olympics coaching education requirement:

1. Entry-level course for new Special Olympics coaches. The online course is equivalent to the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes classroom course.

New coaches have three years to complete the following courses for entry-level certification:

• Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course
• Special Olympics General Orientation and Protective Behaviors Training
• Sport-specific Skills course - Human Kinetics' online Coaching Youth Sport Series includes acceptable skills courses in the sports of basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball that meet the standards and competencies for entry-level certification.
• Program endorsement verifying experiences.

It is optional, but highly recommended, that a new coach be connected with and supported by a certified head coach or a mentor coach so that the new coach achieves a minimum of 10 hours of practial experience working with Special Olympics athletes.

2. The online course satisfies continuing education requirements for Special Olympics coaches. Coaches must continue their education by completing at least one course every three years. 

SONA coaches who have completed their initial training and certification may also take Human Kinetics' online Coaching Youth Sport Series of courses to maintain certification in their respective sport(s).

To register for any of the courses, just click on the corresponding icon in the table below.

Contact Information
Annette Lynch
Senior Manager, Coaching Excellence and Sport Education
Special Olympics North America
Phone: 910-233-3859
E-mail: alynch@specialolympics.org


Human Kinetics courses recommended by Special Olympics for coach certification and recertification (if not taken):

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes

This course prepares Special Olympics coaches to use their sport-specific knowledge in coaching athletes with intellectual disabilities. The 24/7 convenience and low cost make it attractive to new coaches in preparation for their first Special Olympics coaching role. It also meets the Special Olympics standards and competencies for coach certification. For veteran Special Olympics coaches, this course serves as a reminder of the essentials sometimes forgotten after years of coaching. The course also satisfies the Special Olympics recertification or continuing education requirement.
Version or Format Notes
Online Course This course can be purchased and taken online.

Coaching Youth Basketball 4th Edition - PDF

Our lowest-cost alternative for training basketball coaches of athletes ages 14 and under. Priced at $19.95 retail, this course is delivered entirely online. Our Coaching Youth Basketball Fourth Edition book is delivered as a series of PDF downloads within the course. Coaches are prompted to read excerpts prior to completing online course units and activities, and can print the PDFs for hard-copy reference. Volume discounts are available. To place an order for more than one course, call ASEP at 800-747-5698. For single orders, proceed through the checkout process.
Version or Format Course Components
Coaching Youth Basketball 4th Edition - PDF No ancillaries; reading material is delivered as PDF downloads within the online course

Coaching Youth Soccer - PDF

Our lowest-cost alternative for training coaches. Priced at $19.95 retail, this course is delivered entirely online. Our Coaching Youth Soccer book is delivered as a series of PDF downloads within the course. Coaches are prompted to read excerpts prior to completing online course units and activities, and can print the PDFs for hard-copy reference. Volume discounts available. To place an order for more than one course, call ASEP at 800-747-5698. For single orders, click on the icon below.
Version or Format Course Components
Coaching Youth Soccer - PDF This course is available as an online, self-study course covering fundamental coaching concepts, sport first aid, and soccer techniques and tactics.

Coaching Youth Softball - PDF

Our lowest-cost alternative for training coaches. Priced at $19.95 retail, this course is delivered entirely online. Our Coaching Youth Softball book is delivered as a series of PDF downloads within the course. Coaches are prompted to read excerpts prior to completing online course units and activities, and can print the PDFs for hard-copy reference. Volume discounts available. To place an order for more than one course, call ASEP at 800-747-5698. For single orders, click on the icon below.
Version or Format Course Components
Coaching Youth Softball - PDF No ancillaries; reading material is delivered as PDF downloads within the online course

Coaching Youth Tennis - PDF

Our lowest-cost alternative for training coaches. Priced at $19.95 retail, this course is delivered entirely online. Our Coaching Youth Tennis book is delivered as a series PDF downloads within the course. Coaches are prompted to read excerpts prior to completing online course units and activities, and can print the PDFs for hard-copy reference. Volume discounts available. To place an order for more than one course, call ASEP at 800-747-5698. For single orders, click on the icon below.
Version or Format Course Components
Coaching Youth Tennis - PDF No ancillaries; reading material is delivered as PDF downloads within the online course

Coaching Youth Volleyball - PDF

Our lowest-cost alternative for training coaches. Priced at $19.95 retail, this course is delivered entirely online. Our Coaching Youth Volleyball book is delivered as a series of PDF downloads within the course. Coaches are prompted to read excerpts prior to completing online course units and activities, and can print the PDFs for hard-copy reference. Volume discounts available. To place an order for more than one course, call ASEP at 800-747-5698. For single orders, click on the icon below.
Version or Format Course Components
Coaching Youth Volleyball - PDF No ancillaries; reading material is delivered as PDF downloads within the online course