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Training Schools for Coaches & Athletes

If you have been looking for an opportunity to coach Special Olympics Athletes, start the process by becoming a certified coach.  Click here to familiarize yourself with Steps for Becoming and Staying a Certified Coach.


ARE YOU A BRONZE, SILVER OR GOLD LEVEL COACH?

Training and Progression Plan

We want to challenge our coaches; both new and seasoned members of our team. The newly developed SOPA Coach Training and Progression Plan will guide coaches through our education system and provide them the opportunity for additional education and new skills.

The journey begins with the basics in the Certified Coach Level. In these level, coaches complete three basic trainings: Protective Behaviors, General Orientation, and Concussion Training followed by completing the skills training of their chosen sport. 

The Bronze Level provides the next level of training. This includes the course Coaching Special Olympics Athletes and implementing Fit 5 during athlete training sessions. The Silver Level will build upon the Bronze level and include the Principles of Coaching and Coaching Unified Sports® courses as well as athlete goal setting and year round training. The Gold Level will build upon the Silver level and the coach will learn advanced tactics for their sport of choice and work with their athletes on tracking and achieving their personal best performance goals.

As the coach completes the bronze, silver and gold levels, they will receive a lanyard in the color of their level as well as a laminated name tag with their status on the front. Gold Medal coaches will also receive a gold lapel pin. This new training plan is designed to inspire and encourage coaches to continue their education in order to be the best coach they can be and in turn provide the athletes with a better experience and a desire to be the best athlete they can be. View our Coach Recognition Levels flyer.

Certified Coach Level

___ Must have Current Protective Behaviors, General Orientation & Concussion Training

___ Must have a Current Background Clearance

___ Certified in a minimum of one sport

___ Maintain your sport certification by taking approved Continuing Education courses once every three years

Bronze Coach Level

___ Complete all Certified Coach Level requirements

___ Have coached Special Olympics Athletes for a minimum of one year

___ Actively participate in the Fit 5 Wellness Program

___ Track athlete personal best performance Goals

___ Complete the Course “Coaching Special Olympics Athletes”. You can take this course “Face to Face” for free at pre-determined locations throughout PA or on-line for $16.95.

Silver Coach Level

___ Complete all Bronze Coach Level requirements

___ Include individual athlete Goal Setting in your trainings

___ Increase your training program from 8 weeks to 10 weeks

___ Complete the Course “Principals of Coaching”. You can take this course “Face to Face” for free at pre-determined locations throughout PA or on-line for $35.00.

___ Complete the Course “Coaching Unified Sports”. You can take this course “Face to Face” at pre-determined locations throughout PA or on-line, both are free of charge.

Gold Coach Level

___ Complete all Silver Coach Level requirements

___ Complete a minimum of one Tactics (advanced training) course

___ Increase your 10 week training program to practice a minimum of twice per week

___ Work with athletes to develop a year-round training/wellness plan

Once you complete a level you must submit the Sports Training Application for Coaches Progression Plan B, S, & G Application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . When reviewed you will be notified that you have completed that level and are ready to begin the requirements for the next level.

For more information contact Jennifer Tresp, Training & Unified Sports Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Training Schools Course Descriptions :

  • General OrientationClick 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 years to maintain their certification.  Without this training coach certification expires which means the coach would need to take the new coach skills course over again.  For a complete list of courses which will meet the Continuing Education requirement of the SOPA Coach Education Program, please click hereTo submit for continuing education, download the Continuing Education Training Application.

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Multi-Sport Training Schools:

UPCOMING TRAINING SCHOOLS:

1. Saturday, November 4th – Continuing Education Course & Bronze Level Coach Course: “Coaching Special Olympics Athletes” (Franklin County – South Central)

  • Location: Chambersburg Area Middle School, 1151 E. McKinley St. Chambersburg, PA 17201
  • Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • To Register: Click here or cut and paste into browser: https://goo.gl/forms/uzOWSuZqLONiEHzl2

2. Sunday, November 5th – Continuing Education Course & Bronze Level Coach Course: “Coaching Special Olympics Athletes” (West Chester University – South East)

  • Location: West Chester University (Park in Sturzebecker Health Sciences Parking Lot.  Come in the door that faces the football field
  • The room is the second door on the left as you come into the double doors.)
  • Time: 10:00 am to 1:30 pm
  • To Register: Click here or cut and paste into browser: https://goo.gl/forms/dHEMGYLSVZtjztco1

3. Saturday, November 18th Snow Shoeing/Cross Country Skiing Skills Training (Somerset County – South Central)

  • Location:  Putman Place, 254 Blueberry Ln, Somerset, PA 15501
  • Time: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (Lunch is provided)
  • To Register: Click here or cut and paste into browser: https://goo.gl/forms/MEk6xHw0Y2XlaYu23

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      10. 101111114. Sunday, January 14th – Bowling Training In Meadville, PA (Crawford – North West)

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!

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  Coach Training School Schedule:

COACHES TRAINING NEEDS

Tell us in what sports areas your coaches need to receive training, and we will work to create training opportunities. Please click on the link below to complete the Training Request Form for your desired sport and sports season – prior to the established due date.

WINTER SPORTS & BOWLING

  Winter Coaches Training Request

Trainings Offered: Late November - January  (Due Date: August 31, 2017)

Associated Sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Speed Skating, Snowshoeing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey & Bowling

SUMMER SPORTS

  Summer Coaches Training Request

Trainings  Offered: Late March - April  (Due Date: December 1, 2017)

Associated Sports: Athletics, Swimming, Basketball, Golf, Softball, Gymnastics, Equestrian, Tennis

FALL SPORTS

    Fall Coaches Training Request

Trainings  Offered: August-September  (Due Date: June 30, 2017)

Associated Sports: Soccer, Volleyball, Powerlifting, Bocce, Roller Skating, LDR/W

  • This is not a guarantee that the training is offered in your county, but within the surrounding area.
  • Current Coach Training School dates and locations are listed above.
  • Training School Fees are $10.00 per coach.
  • SOPA reserves the right to cancel a sport or the entire training if there are less then 2 volunteers registered.

If you have any questions please contact Jennifer Tresp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Certified Coaches Reports:

September 5, 2017 - October 5, 2017 May 5, 2017 - June 5, 2017
August 5, 2017 - September 5, 2017 April 5, 2017 - May 5, 2017
June 5, 2017 - August 5, 2017 March 5, 2017 - April 5, 2017

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Training Numbers and Due Dates

Submit Training Numbers to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2017 Due Dates:

2017 Fall Training Numbers -                Due Friday, November 24th

2017 Fall Training Numbers – Unified

2017 Fall Training Numbers – Traditional

  • Entered into Excel file                   December 8th
  • Program Review Period                December 11th – 22nd
  • Allocations 2018 Fall Festival     January 12, 2018

2018 Due Dates:

2018 Winter Training Numbers -                        Due Friday, March 30th

  • Entered into Excel file                                  April 13th
  • Program Review Period                               April 16th – 27th
  • Allocations 2019 Winter Game(s)             May 4th

2018 Summer Training Numbers -                      Due Friday, June 29th

  • Entered into Excel file                                  July 13th
  • Program Review Period                               July 16th –July 27th
  • Allocations 2019 Summer Games             August 3rd

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Training Coordinators Corner

Twice a year Training Coordinators Conference Calls will be held to provide updates and reminders. You will be able to find these presentations here.

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What are Training Attendance Records?

Training attendance records are detailed Excel spreadsheets that maintain your training sites’ attendance for athletes and coaches.  The athlete Excel spreadsheet requests information such as gender, age, attended practices, events attended, and the medical expiration date.  The coach Excel spreadsheet requests information such as certification date, completion of concussion training, general orientation, protective behaviors, events attended and attended practices.  The primary goal of these attendance sheets is to ensure your coaches can submit exactly what is needed to complete your programs training numbers. 

Attendance Record for Athletes, Partners and Coaches

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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.

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Sports Certification:

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 Application outlining 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.

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Continuing Education (Recertification) Course Options:

By completing one of the continuing education courses, 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.

Continuing Education Course Options

Proof of completion of the course must be submitted along with a completed Sports Training Application before 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 .

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