Current Heads of Delegation, Finance Chairs and team administrators: Check out our HOD/Admin Portal for all your most-used resources!

Coaches are role models and character builders. They help athletes realize their worth, ability, courage and their capacity to grow and improve.

Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community. Here in Minnesota, we serve thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities every year through sports training and competition. Through sports, our athletes find belonging, empowerment, friendship and so much more.

We need coaches & team assistants to support teams & athletes across Minnesota!

Coaches and team assistants play a crucial role in the Special Olympics movement. The ideal coach isn’t necessarily an all-star athlete or sport guru. In fact, the requirements to be a Special Olympics coach are simple: have a big heart and enjoy having a good time. There is a great network of people at Special Olympics Minnesota who will help you along the way.

Which role is right for you?

All coach and team assistant roles are volunteer positions.

Head coach

Responsible for organizing and leading practices in order for athletes to be eligible for regional and state competitions. Receives support from other coaches and team assistants.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week for preparation, practices, and events.

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 over several weeks of 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 over several weeks of a sport season (8-10 weeks).

Team admin

If sports aren’t your forte, we still have a place for you.  There are behind-the-scenes roles with every team to make sure the team is successful. This could mean helping with registration, updating social media accounts, organizing fundraising, etc. If you would like to volunteer in this kind of role, we have teams that are in need!

Time commitment: Varies depending on the team’s needs.

Certification

All coaches and Unified partners who work with athletes need to be Level 1 certified.

Level 1 certified coaches can coach any sport within SOMN, just as Unified partners can participate in any sport within SOMN that offers Unified.

Level 1 certification and passed background checks are valid for 3 years.

Before beginning your training, please note the different processes between the two trainings available below.

OPTION #1

Step 1: Complete the online Level 1 Training (for ages 18+).

This training is designed for coaches or Unified partners who are 18 or older who need to complete or renew their Level 1 certification.

Step 2: Complete background check.

After completion of the Level 1, you will receive an email from HireRight ([email protected]) to complete your background check. You may not receive an email if your background check is current and not expired yet.

Current coaches who have questions regarding their background check can contact their head of delegation or email [email protected].

OPTION #2

Step 1: Complete the online Level 1 Training (for ages 8-17).

This training is designed for Unified partners who are under the age of 18 who need to complete or renew their Level 1 certification.

Individuals that complete this training are ONLY eligible to be registered as Unified partners at competitions. Individuals that are 16-17 years old that want to be registered as a coach must complete the traditional (18+) training.

There is no background check required by SOMN until the age of 18.