In 2012, Special Olympics BC introduced the Performance Program. The concept of the program was to provide SOBC coaches and athletes with sport-specific training that would elevate the performance of SOBC athletes. The program was very successful, helping many coaches and athletes reach their potential. Based on feedback from coaches and the SOBC community, it was determined that SOBC could create greater value for all coaches and athletes by focusing on hosting sport-specific coaching workshops that are solely for coaches. In 2019, the Performance Program became Coach Development Workshops.
The Coach Development Workshops will allow coaches to focus on learning, networking, and sharing ideas with one another. At times, the workshops will include local athletes, but only for the sessions they can help coaches learn, such as demonstrations.
There is a misconception that this program is only for elite athletes and coaches, but coaches from all different levels are encouraged to attend. The goal of the program is to have the broadest possible reach of athletes impacted.
Coach Development Workshops include developing sport-specific basic skills, mentoring from longtime coaches, opportunities to discuss program-specific needs, health sessions, and much more! Coaches will become ambassadors and ultimately increase the reach of the program by sharing the empowering education with the athletes and other coaches in their communities.
Christopher Delahunty, SOBC Sport Coordinator
Through his work with Special Olympics BC and the Coach Development Workshops (formerly Performance Program), sport performance expert Jacques Thibault has created a skill package for every SOBC sport. These packages outline the basic skills that each athlete should be able to do as a foundation for their sport. The packages are valuable for coaches because they contain tips for coaching skill progression, assessment checklists, and lesson planning tools.
The Basic Skill Acquisition packages for all 18 SOBC sports can be found on each sport page in the Sport Rules, Resources, and Videos hub.
These packages identify the fundamental skills that an athlete should have to participate with confidence and ability in their chosen sport. Having these skills will allow athletes not only to succeed in Special Olympics programs and competitions, but also feel confident that they can go into generic sport settings and be active and successful there too.
Thanks to Jacques for creating and sharing these valuable resources, and thanks to all coaches for making use of these tools to help elevate performance province-wide.
Please visit the Resources section of the SOBC website for more tools to support coaching. Many videos and program tips are developed through Coach Development Workshops and the Performance Program, and all of those are regularly uploaded into the sport-specific sections of the Sport Rules, Resources, and Videos hub, in order to ensure all coaches can benefit. Check back for updates as there will be more to come!
Based on the number of coaches interested in attending, we know this is a highly successful program. SOBC is excited to take the Coach Development Workshops to the next level and develop them further! We cannot guarantee that every coach will be able to attend, but we hope to reach as many coaches as possible from across the province. SOBC has reached out to Local Coordinators to seek community coach recommendations.
These workshops come at no cost to a coach's Local; SOBC covers all associated costs with attending.