How To Be A Coach

Coaches often start out as SOMC volunteers and find that volunteering is so rewarding they want to do more. Here are the steps to become a coach.
1.  Assuming you have already obtained your background clearances (see the Coach Certification page) ---then: 

2.  Complete the Special Olympics Pennsylvania General Orientation. After reviewing the material, click on the link Online Training Test, click Finish after providing us your information and answering all the questions on the General Orientation Quiz.

3.  Complete the Special Olympics Protective Behaviors Training. - PLEASE NOTE: Coaches are required to complete the Protective Behaviors Training every three years in order to maintain their certification. This training can be used to satisfy the continuing education requirement once every nine years, but must still be completed every three years in addition to or as part of the continuing education requirement.

4.  Attend an approved training, either a Special Olympics Sports Specific Coach Training or Coaching Special Olympics Athletes course based on previous experience in the sport as outlined in the two tracks below. - Track One: Individuals with no prior coaching or playing background in the sport in which they want to become certified. Attend an approved Special Olympics Sports Specific Coach Training course. View Training Schools for currently approved and offered courses. - Track Two: Individuals with extensive prior coaching or playing background in the sport in which they want to become certified. Submit a Sport History Application (see below) outlining your experience in the sport. If approved, take an approved Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Course.

5.  Complete a 10 hour practicum coaching athletes in the sport in which you are applying for certification at an approved local training site. - Up to 3 hours from a local or sectional competition can be applied to the 10 hour practicum requirement. - Up to 5 hours training athletes during the current sports season, but prior to attending the training school, may be counted toward the 10 hour practicum requirement as long as the training was conducted in conjunction with a certified head coach.

6.  Complete and submit the Special Olympics Sports Training Application - Handed out at sports specific coach trainings and Coaching Special Olympics courses. - Signature of Certified Head Coach or the SOMC Program Training Coordinator (Scott Otterbein, required before submission.

7.  Individuals have 1 year from the date of their attendance at a training to complete the steps above and earn their certification. If a coach needs to become certified for a program to have certified coaches for state-level competitions, they must complete all of the above requirements prior to the start of the state-level competition.

8.  Certified Coaches must take approved continuing education every three years in order to maintain their Special Olympics Sports Certification. A listing of approved continuing education courses can be found under Training Schools. - Coaches are not required to complete a 10 hour practicum for their continuing education course. - Coaches are required to submit a signed Sports Training Application for approval of their continuing education.

Sports History Application
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