Coaching Special Olympics Athletes
This course is a self-paced online course designed to be taken by individual coaches.
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.
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If you're looking to take this online course to satisfy an educational requirement for a particular organization and your organization does not appear in the drop down menu, it means that your organization has not adopted online courses as meeting its educational requirements, and you should not purchase the online version of the course. To view your organization's requirements and a list of Human Kinetics Coach Education courses that meet those requirements, visit Partner Organization Requirements.
If you're wanting to take this online course to further your education and professional development, rather than to satisfy an educational requirement, select "Human Kinetics Coach Education" from the drop down menu.
Read How Online Courses Work.
Every contact you have with your athletes is a chance to help them build character, grow personally, and improve their sport skills. When you master the content of the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course, you’ll be equipped to do just that. Through this three-hour course, you will develop a better understanding of how people with intellectual disabilities learn and how they participate in sports. The course offers a solid overview of the coaching principles involved in working with Special Olympics athletes as well as practical ideas that you can immediately use in your teaching and coaching. In the course, you’ll find Special Olympics PDF resources, photos, audio, video, and narrated presentations.
This interactive online course mirrors the Special Olympics classroom course, and it
• appeals to a wide range of learning preferences because it engages coaches through a variety of methods and media, including video, audio, narrated presentations, photos, dynamic learning interactions, and quizzes;
• meets the training needs and standards that are specific to Special Olympics;
• ensures compliance with Special Olympics coaching education requirements for first-time coaches; and
• offers a convenient and inexpensive way for veteran coaches to earn continuing education credits.
Designed to fit into your busy schedule, this online course offers you 24/7 accessibility at a cost that is lower than what most coaches pay for meals and gas when attending a classroom course. More important, it covers non-sport-specific aspects of coaching that you need in order to be a successful Special Olympics coach. The course material is divided into four units. In the first unit, you learn all about the athletes—including the mental, physical, and social factors that can influence their ability to learn and take part in sports. The second unit focuses on specific teaching and training techniques, effective communication strategies, and tips for avoiding common pitfalls when coaching Special Olympics athletes. Next, you'll learn how to prepare for competition and maximize positive outcomes for your athletes, including creating competition plans and individual athlete development plans. In the final unit, you’ll explore methods for managing your program and facilitating the development of your athletes' sport and interpersonal skills in a safe environment. The athlete-centered material in the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes course reinforces how to respect all athletes, how to train and encourage them, how to improve their self-confidence, and how to help them excel by building on their unique strengths and abilities and shine as they take part in what can be the most positive life-changing experience they will ever have.
Unit 1: The Athlete—Different Abilities and Challenges
• Identify the four psychological considerations that affect an athlete’s ability to develop the skills necessary for sport participation.
• Recognize the core medical considerations that most frequently influence individuals with intellectual disability.
• Identify social considerations that affect an athlete’s participation.
Unit 2: Teaching and Training the Athlete
• Identify effective components of instruction and when and how to use them.
• Determine the training sequence needed in order for athletes to learn the skills to play the sport.
• Distinguish and use effective communication skills. • Identify behavior challenges and effective strategies to improve learning.
Unit 3: The Coach—Preparing for and Coaching during Competition
• Identify the necessary steps and their importance in preparing for competition, including creating a competition plan.
• Demonstrate and reinforce good sportsmanship and respect for the sport, competition, officials, opponents, teammates, coaches, and self.
• Commit to and reinforce athletes’ striving to do their best during training, divisioning, and competition.
• Provide opportunities for athletes to demonstrate self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and independence.
• Focus on rewarding efforts, positive attitudes, and goals achieved. • Use an individual athlete development plan and competition to measure success and identify areas for improvement.
Unit 4: Managing the Program
• Define your responsibilities as a Special Olympics coach.
• Describe the range of preparations and their importance—season planning, practice planning, and developing individual athlete plans.
• Identify the importance of managing relationships—with parents, other coaches, and other volunteers involved in the program.
• Provide a safe environment, including provisions for emergencies and minor injuries.
Varies by organization version.
Before you purchase your online course: If you're taking this course to be certified with a specific organization, you need to purchase that organization's version of the course to receive credit. Failure to purchase the correct version will jeopardize your certification status. Prior to purchasing an online course, please double-check your organization's requirements to ensure online courses are accepted for credit by your organization.
Audience: Volunteer Coaches, Parents