Coaching Roles and Requirements

Coaching Roles

Becoming a coach with Special Olympics has many rewards, one of the main ones being to work with such an amazing group of athletes. Our training programs and certification requirements are designed to ensure that our athletes receive the best care possible and to provide you with the tools to meet the needs of any athlete involved in our organization with both confidence and skill.

Below are the duties and responsibilities for the volunteer positions of head coach, assistant coach, and program volunteer within Special Olympics.


  • Ensure those involved with your programs are officially registered with SOS
  • Orientate assistant coaches, program volunteers, and athletes to the program
  • Evaluate the mental and physical skill level of the athletes
  • Adapt training and teaching techniques for athletes
  • Provide equal training and competition opportunities for all athletes
  • Ensure that practices consist of warm-up, motor skill development, sport skill and cool down
  • Be a good role model by exhibiting good sportsmanship
  • Practices should emphasize individual skill development and progression should be carefully considered and instructions simplified if needed


  • Assist athletes in developing sport skills
  • Adapt training and teaching techniques to suit all athletes individually
  • Hold basic First Aid knowledge
  • Report emergencies to the head coach
  • Attend available coaching clinics in your sport and National Coaching Certification Programs
  • Be a good role model by exhibiting good sportsmanship
  • Implement lesson plans developed by the head coach
  • Assist with equipment set-up and organization of the practice site

** In order to be an assistant coach, you must be trained or certified in accordance with Special Olympic Saskatchewan coach training/certification guidelines.  Please review the below coaching requirements. 

Coaching Requirements

Respect in Sport

All volunteers, including coaches, are required to complete their Respect in Sport (RiS) certification. This online course provides an overview of the potential issues and circumstances that one may face while participating in any sport program, with a main focus on bullying and harassment. The RiS curse assists coaches and volunteers with how to identify certain behaviours and what to do in a case where a situation may arise. You can find more information on how to complete your RiS training by visiting resources for volunteers and coaches.



All volunteers taking on a coaching role, whether that is a head coach or assistant coach, are also required to complete their Making Ethical Decisions – Active for Life (MED) online evaluation. This training helps coaches to identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations while equipping these coaches to handle such situations with confidence. You can find more information on how to complete your MED training by clicking resources for volunteers and coaches.


Sport Specific Requirements

Special Olympics Canada (SOC) has a coach training course specific to Special Olympics coaches. The SOC – Competition Sport workshop is for coaches who are looking to work with athletes at various levels of domestic and international competitions. The main goal of this course is to prepare the coach for training with athletes at local, regional, provincial, and national competitions with the primary focus on safety, fun, fitness, fundamentals, performance, and basic sport skills. For dates of upcoming SOC – Competition Sport Workshops in Saskatchewan, please visit our event calendar.

Head coaches and assistant coaches within Special Olympics will also be required to complete the NCCP Sport Specific Training courses. Each sports specific requirement is outlined in the table below. For dates and locations of any sport specific courses please contact your sports Provincial Sport Governing Body (PSGB). Floor Hockey, Snowshoeing, and Powerlifting sport specific workshops are organized and facilitated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan. For more information and to sign up for sport specific workshops please contact the Program Coordinator at 306-780-9181.

Stay tuned for upcoming information from Special Olympics Canada on a bocce coaching course, a golf caddie course, and a peer mentorship program!

Please note that Respect in Sport, Making Ethical Decisions and SOC Competition Sport are all required to be a Special Olympics Saskatchewan coach or assistant coach.

Summer Sport Coach Requirements

Sport NCCP Sport Specific Course
10 Pin Bowling Community Sport Initiation
Aquatics Fundamentals Coach (Swimming 101)
Athletics Sport Coach (Competition)
Basketball Learn to Train (Competition)
Bocce 125 Coaching Hours

SOC PGA Golf Course

Power Lifting SOC Powerlifting Coaches Module
Rhythmic Gymnastics Gymnastics Foundations (Intro, Theory and Rhythmic)
Soccer Soccer for Life
Softball Community Sport Coach - ongoing participation


Winter Sport Coach Requirement

Sport NCCP Sport Specific Course
Alpine Skiing Entry Level Coach Workshop or CSIA Level I
Cross Country Skiing Community Coach (Intro to Community Coaching & Community Coaching)
Curling Club Coach
Figure Skating

CanSkate (Level 1 and 2) Primary STARskate (Level 3 and 6)

Floor Hockey SOC Floor Hockey Module
Showshoe SOC Snowshoe Coaches Module
Speed Skating

Assistant Coach - FUNdamentals Leader

Head coach -  FUNdamentals Coach

5 Pin Bowling Community Coach