mid winter 4 (320x480)Become a Coach

Your first step to becoming a coach starts with your local area program.  Contact the Area Director to begin the process of becoming a certified coach. Contact your Local Area Program. 

Certified Coach

This is for all individuals training athletes in a sport. Coaches must be at least 18 years old to be a certified coach. Anyone between the ages of 14 and 17 can attend a training school. Certification as a coach consists of the following components:

  1. Complete the online Class A Volunteer Registration.
  2. Complete the General Orientation online training and take a short test. General Orientation is an introduction to Special Olympics and to the program and structure in South Carolina.
  3. Complete Protective Behaviors, a 15 minute online course to learn how to recognize and handle signs of abusive behaviors.
  4. Become certified in Concussion Recognition; intended to educate coaches on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in sports. This course highlights the impact of sports-related concussion on athletes, teaches how to recognize a suspected concussion, and provides protocols to manage a suspected concussion with steps to help players return to play safely after a concussion.
  5. Complete Coaching Special Olympics Athletes, online training and test. CSOA is a more in-depth training about how to work with Special Olympics athletes, recognize and accommodate their needs in the sport, and provide them with an effective sport training and competition experience.
  6. Attend a Sports specific skills course at a training school that will give you specific instruction in training athletes in a sport as well as Special Olympics modifications to that sport.
  7. Complete Ten practicum hours, time actually spent training Special Olympics athletes after attending a training school.

Advanced Certified Coach

  1. Complete all the above Certified Coach Requirements.
  2. Complete Principles of Coaching and take the online test. PoC is education regarding the sport management team approach to recruitment and sport development, how to enhance athlete performance, and application of basic principles of coaching.


Sports certification expires every 3 years. If your certification has expired or is about to expire, please contact Kelly Garrick to get information about getting re-certified. Protective Behaviors certification expires every 3 years.

If you have received training and are a certified coach in a sport with a different organization, contact Kelly Garrick for your certification options.

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