Welcome to Special Olympics Minnesota!

We are a global movement dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, education, and community building. We believe everyone deserves a chance to be seen, accepted and celebrated.

We are looking for enthusiastic and committed volunteers to join our team of coaches! You don’t need previous coaching experience or a background in sports—we’ll provide you with all the training and support you need.

Ready to join us? Complete the Coach Interest form to start your journey as a Special Olympics coach. We can’t wait to have you on our team!

How do you become a coach?

3 myths about Special Olympics Minnesota

Myth: Special Olympics is a track & field event in the summer.

Truth: Special Olympics Minnesota hosts competitions and events for 16 sports throughout the year and across the state. From bocce to bowling to flag football to golf, there’s something for everyone!

Myth: Coaching a Special Olympics team is a big responsibility.

Truth: Sure, being a Special Olympics coach requires dedication, but you don’t have to do it alone! Share the responsibilities with support from the state office, other coaches, team assistants and volunteers. There are no limits to your coaching staff!

Myth: You have to be a sports expert to volunteer for a Special Olympics team.

Truth: No sports experience or knowledge is necessary! We’ll teach you everything you need to know. Special Olympics volunteer roles just require enthusiasm, positivity and the ability to create a fun environment for everyone!

“Maybe the greatest volunteer experience I have ever had.”

“I like to help people achieve their best, whatever that might be. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve and help athletes along the way.”

Brian, coach with The BLAST

“I get SO much more out of volunteering than I have ever put into it.”

“If you are presented the opportunity to coach, do it. Jump in with both feet.”

Ray, coach with the Hastings Sharks

“SOMN provides opportunities to build true friendships through inclusion and I feel lucky to be a part of that.”

“As a coach, I get to witness the magic happen! I get to see the friendships that are built, the awareness that is spread into the larger community and the pride when athletes feel their worth.”

“As a volunteer you see first-hand how Special Olympics changes the lives of athletes and their families, but it also changes yours.”

“Being a Special Olympics coach is the BEST! Every other coach is more than willing to help and support you. You don’t have to do it alone!”

Carrie, coach with the St. Michael-Albertville Stallions

“My husband and I coach together and it’s such a blast! I just love it.”

Which role is right for you?

As a volunteer coach for Special Olympics Minnesota, you will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our athletes. You will help them develop physical fitness, build self-confidence and form lasting friendships. Plus, you will be part of a vibrant community of coaches, athletes, and families who share your passion for creating a more inclusive world!

All of the following roles are volunteer positions.

Coach

Work with athletes at practices to develop skills necessary for athletes to compete and succeed at regional and state events. No sports experience required, though great if you have it! There are additional opportunities to become certified in specific sports.

Time commitment
Typically 2 hours per practice session, with most teams practicing once or twice per week during a sport season (8-10 weeks).

Team assistant

Work with athletes and be of assistance to Head of Delegations and other coaches at practices and competitions. Responsibilities could range from equipment setup to playing catch to social media manager – there is a wide range of opportunity in this role depending on the team’s needs!

Time commitment
Typically 2 hours per practice session, with most teams practicing once or twice per week during a sport season (8-10 weeks).

Unified partner

Unified partners are athletes without intellectual disabilities who compete alongside Special Olympics Minnesota athletes on the same team. Training together and playing together becomes a quick path to friendship and understanding.

Time commitment
Typically 2 hours per practice session, with most teams practicing once or twice per week during a sport season (8-10 weeks).