Training and Certification
On-line Coaching Philosophy Recertification Course
- Medical Info Form - Athlete
- Medical Info Form - Coach/Volunteer
- Certified Coach Code of Conduct
- Application for sports training certification
- Application for Sports Re-Certification
- SOWI Educational Course Reporting Form (For Re-Certification)
- Certified Training School Registration Form
- Certified Training School Evaluation Form
- Orientation and Registration Form (General Orientation Video)
- Protective Behaviors Online Training
Steps to become a Special Olympics Wisconsin coach
To become a Certified Special Olympics Coach, a volunteer must first get in touch with their local Area Special Olympics Wisconsin office
Be a registered Class A Volunteer - Request to have a form mailed to you
Attend a Certified Training School for a specific sport - View a calendar of upcoming certified training schools
Complete 10 practicum hours of working with Special Olympics athletes; and
Complete the Special Olympics Application for Sports Training Certification and submit it to Special Olympics Wisconsin Headquarters
Participating in Special Olympics improves physical fitness and motor skills, heightens self-confidence, influences a more positive self-image and offers friendships and increased family support.
Special Olympics Wisconsin brings persons with intellectual disabilities off the sidelines and onto the playing field. From sports drills to divisioning, Special Olympics athletes are treated just like any athlete of any ability when it comes to training.
Special Olympics Wisconsin Training Background
Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) offers a wide variety of training opportunities for both coaches and athletes. The goal of SOWI is to provide coaches and athletes with the best possible experiences and to elevate the recognition of Special Olympics training to that of any other reputable sports organization. SOWI strives to achieve this by providing quality clinicians and facilities for clinics, training schools and competitions. Often SOWI training is coordinated with current practices of the appropriate National Governing Body (NGB) for each sport. Many times clinicians are obtained through these organizations as well. Because SOWI strives to provide the best possible sport experiences for each athlete, during competitions we strictly adhere to NGB rules. We feel that our sports organization should be no different than any other organization in terms of the quality of competition and the training experiences offered to our athletes. This quality is enhanced and maintained through quality training of our coaches and athletes. Below are listed the opportunities that SOWI currently offers:
A General Session is an approximately 20-minute video presentation on the background, philosophy, and mission of Special Olympics. General Orientation attendees will learn about the history and progress of Special Olympics from its beginning to where it is today. Attendees will also learn about the Special Olympics organization and the role of volunteers. Background is provided about Special Olympic Athletes, intellectual disabilities, as well as sports training and competition.
Clinics and seminars are short sessions designed to provide coaches with information about a particular aspect of a sport or a brief introduction and overview. Clinics offer coaches a chance to refresh their coaching knowledge or to pick up new information without the time commitment of a certified training school.
Certified Training Schools (CTS)
Special Olympics offers a coaches certification in each of its official sports. Each team or group of individuals advancing to state level competition is required to have a coach that is certified in that sport. The certification process involves attendance at a Certified Training school and a ten hour practicum coaching athletes. To become certified, coaches must be register as Class A volunteers with SOWI. Certified training schools are offered on weeknights and weekend days and are between 2-4 hours depending on the sport being covered. SOWI's goal is to run at least one or more CTS's in each of the sports it offers every year. A Certified Training School provides a great opportunity for coaches who may have participated in a sport recreationally, but have not coached in that sport. A CTS is also very helpful to coaches who would like to gain a deeper understanding of a sport or how to relate their coaching to Special Olympic athletes. Topics covered normally include: an introduction and overview, coaching resources, fundamentals, events/divisioning, pre and post season training, proper uniform and equipment, safety, rules, and hands-on training.
Training Camps / Training Days
Special Olympics training camps and training days offer a unique opportunity for coaches and athletes to train and learn under non-competition conditions or to try new sports. Camps include periods of practice, drills and social events, and give athletes a chance to train with top Special Olympics coaches and clinicians. Coaches attending camp may be given the opportunity to become certified in their sport. Often a Certified Training School for coaches is built into each camp.
Principles of Coaching
The Principles of Coaching certification provides coaches with a complete overview of coaching for any sport. The P.O.C. course will cover such topics as coaching philosophy, budgeting, psychology of coaching, teaching progressions, equipment, record keeping, developing practice plans, risk management, safety/first aid, and health. This course provides a coaching overview that would be appropriate for a coach in any athletic organization as well as insight and background specific to Special Olympics and Special Olympic athletes. To become certified in Principles of Coaching, applicants must complete the 6- hour training course as well as a 10 hour practicum in their particular sport. This practicum involves coaches working with their athletes in a regular practice setting. This allows coaches to apply what they have learned.
Invitationals / Scrimmage Days
Invitationals are multi-agency competitions designed to give athletes the opportunity to practice their skills in a competitive situation before they go to their regional or district competitions. They vary in size and format, but generally take the form of Games or tournaments. If your agency is interested in hosting a multi-agency training day, SOWI competition grants are available. For more information, or to have your training day advertised in the Agency Times Newsletter, contact Special Olympics Wisconsin Headquarters. Any agency wishing to participate, is encouraged to do so.
For more information on Special Olympics training, contact
Angela Frizzo, Director of Training and Competition