The following courses can be taken in the preference of your own setting and schedule. The courses are all delivered through demonstrative videos and a series of PDF downloads. SOTX will not cover any course registration fee.

Special Olympics North America has partnered with American Sport Education Program (ASEP), National Federation of High School (NFHS) and West Virginia University Continuing Education (WVU) to offer online courses. These courses are for Special Olympics Coaches who are seeking advanced training or continuing education.

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes

This 3-hour course is offered through American Sports Education Program for $16.95. It is a great course for new coaches in preparation for their first Special Olympics coaching role. This course prepares coaches to use their sport-specific knowledge in coaching athletes with intellectual disabilities. The course is made up of four different units: the Athlete, Teaching and Training the Athlete, the Coach-preparing for and coaching during Competition and Managing the Program. For veteran Special Olympics coaches, this course serves as a reminder of the essentials sometimes forgotten after years of coaching.

This course is equivalent to the classroom Level 1 - Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Course.

Coaching Unified Sports

This 90-minute course is FREE offered through National Federation of State High School Associations. This course caters to both new and veteran coaches seeking continuing education. Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes and partners as teammates for training and competition. This course is based upon meaningful involvement for all team members and founded on Three Unified Programs: Unified Sports, Player Development and Unified Recreation. Coaches will learn how to build a successful team by the recruitment and assessment process and appropriate sport selection for athletes and partners. Please know, an individual will not be recognized as a Unified Sports Coach until completion of a Level 1 Sport Skills course; however, the sessions can be taken out of order.

This course is equivalent to the classroom Level 1 - Unified Sports course.

Coaching Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Track & Field, Tennis, and AACCA Spirit Safety Certification.

These 3-hour courses are offered through National Federation of State High School Associations for $50.00 - $75.00. These sport specific courses are recommended for those coaches who lack sport specific knowledge. Each course focuses on the basic skills, strategies and fundamentals in athlete development. Course units include basic competition levels and game fundamentals for each sport.

These courses are equivalent to the classroom Level 1 – Sport Skills Course.

Divisioning Training

The fundamental difference between Special Olympics competitions and those of other sports organizations is that athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate, and every athlete is recognized for his/her performance. Competitions are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability in equitable divisions.

This video will help explain this concept in theory and practice: "Game On: A Quick Guide to Special Olympics Divisioning."

New Coach SIG Training

This 30-minute FREE training covers the SIG instructional piece for new SOTX Coaches as part of the Coach certification requirement to complete Level 1 certification. The training is based upon the SOTX Information Guide, which contains important information about the policies and procedures, sports rules, fundraising guidelines, financial requirements and communication strategies for Special Olympics Texas. The training is divided into ten different sections and separated with learning quizzes throughout. New Coaches accessing online training(s) must complete this training as part of the certification requirement. New Coaches attending face to face training(s) will receive the SIG instruction piece at the face to face training.

United States Bowling Congress Coaching

This 3-hour course is offered through United States Bowling Congress for $49.00. This is an entry level course for a new or veteran Special Olympics Coach seeking bowling certification. Coaches will learn basic fundamentals, sport safety and progression of skills from two-handed delivery to the basic four-step approach. Before taking this course, all users must first be approved through USBC’s Registered Volunteer Program. Once approved through the RVP, the user will be given access to purchase the course. Youth must be 13 years of age or older to take this course.

Prior to being given access to purchase the test coaches that are U.S. citizens 18 and older must go through the USBC background screening process -- The Registered Volunteer Program.

To access the USBC presentation and testing site, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the USBC Coaching Resource Center
  3. Select the Level I Program
  4. Read all the information. The Level I presentation and a pdf of the script for presentation are accessible by using the link(s) in the last paragraph.
  5. At the conclusion of the presentation, read all the information on the last slide. Once an account is created on the test site, answer only one survey question that pertains to you. You only need to answer once.
  6. The coaching department will receive the response from the survey question via email and will reply back as soon as the required information is verified by a staff member; this may take a few days due to the volume of requests coming in.

Principles of Coaching Special Olympics Athletes

This 9-hour course is offered through West Virginia Continuing Education for $35.00. Coaches who have completed a Sport Specific Skills or Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Course may take this course to maintain or upgrade certification in their respective sports. This non-sport specific course is based on the sciences of successful coaching. This course is made up of five different units: Understanding the Special Olympics Philosophy, Sports Planning for the Coach, Coaching Sport Skills and Developing Sport Confidence, Sport-Specific Performance Training and Nutrition for Special Olympics Athletes, and Sport Safety and Risk Management.

This course is equivalent to the classroom POC course. 

Coaching Youth Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Soccer, Tennis, and Cheerleading Principles.

These 3-hour courses are offered through American Sports Education Program for $19.95 each. Coaches who have completed a Sport Specific Skills or Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Course may take any of these Coaching Youth Sport Courses to maintain or upgrade certification in their respective sports. These courses are for coaching athletes age 14 and under participating in a recreational, noncompetitive setting. Coaches will gain sport-specific skills and essential coaching concepts for youth sports. These sport-specific courses are based on tactic and skill instruction, coach responsibilities, effective communication, safety and fitness, rules and practice planning during season.

These courses are equivalent to the classroom Tactics course. 

A Coach’s Playbook: Introduction to Autism and Instructional Strategies for Coaching

This three part course is offered through Special Olympics Virginia for FREE! As the diagnosis of autism is becoming more prevalent, it is important for coaches and volunteers to be trained to work alongside athletes who have Autism Spectrum Disorders. This training course gives an introduction to the disorder and also provides strategies for coaching athletes with Autism.

This is a supplemental training that can be credited for Continuing Education.

Concussion in Sports

This FREE training is offered through the National Federation of State High School to help raise awareness and help minimize the risk of concussions. This training is for all new and current SOTX Coaches as part of the Coach certification requirement. All Users will receive a certificate of completion upon course completion. To receive credit, please forward all completion certificates to Current coaches are to complete training in congruence with Class A Volunteer Application. All coaches must take Concussion in Sports Training once every 3 years.

Online Certification Procedures:

Once a course is complete, the user will receive an online course certification. Please forward a copy of the online course certificate to Director of Program Training, Molly Kuchar at A follow-up letter will be sent to recognize your course accomplishments as a new or returning coach for SOTX.

Prerequisites before completing online courses:

  1. Complete the Special Olympics General Orientation
  2. Complete the Special Olympics Protective Behaviors training
  3. Complete Class A Volunteer Form 
  4. Complete New Coach SIG Training Online
  5. Complete the Concussion in Sports Training offered through NFHS.

For more information, please visit the Next Steps page.


National Alliance for Youth Sports

The NAYS Coach Training & Membership Program offers coach trainings in Basketball, Cheerleading, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball and Volleyball.

The training and membership fee is $20.

Get started now

During the registration process, be sure to select “Special Olympics Texas” as the Member Organization.

Learn more about the benefits available to a NAYS Coach

Please contact Molly Kuchar if you have any questions about online training opportunities.