Coaches play a unique role in Special Olympics, working hands-on with athletes to provide the sports skills and spirit they need to compete.

Special Olympics Michigan Coaches

Coaches help our athletes realize their true potential.

To be a Special Olympics coach, you don't have to have prior experience - we provide the necessary training. What you do need is the enthusiasm and desire to make a positive impact on the lives of athletes. The following resources will guide you through the certification process.

Steps to Becoming and Staying A SOMI Certified Coach

Here is a chart that describes the requirements for all coaches, leadership volunteers and Unified Partners.

Step 1: Contact your local area director

Contact your local area director to find out what coaching opportunities are available near you. Choose your county from the "Select a Local Program" drop down menu on the right side of the screen. You will be redirected to your local area page that contains your area director's contact info.

Step 2: Requirements for all coaches

Whether you are a new or seasoned coach, the following trainings must be up to date in your record:

Volunteer A form – Click here to download the Volunteer A form. Once completed please send a copy to your local area director. Volunteer/Guest Registration Form to your local area director.

General Orientation – Click here for online training. This is a general introduction to Special Olympics and any new volunteer or coach should take this training prior to working with athletes. Review the general orientation participation guide, then complete the general orientation quiz.

Protective Behaviors – Online Training that must be completed every three years. Available by clicking here, this training must be completed by all new and existing Class A volunteers prior to working with Special Olympics athletes.

Concussion Training - Online Training that must be completed every three years. This training must be completed by all new and existing Coaches prior to working with Special Olympics athletes. There are two online courses that you may use to become trained:

° SOMI Recommended: National Federation of State High School Associations Concussion in Sports training course which is available at
° The Center for Disease Control’s Heads-Up Concussion in Youth Sports training course, which is available at

Once you complete the concussion training, please send a copy of your certificate to Kellie Murphy at

Sport Certification – All coaches must obtain sport certification by attending a training school or utilizing the mentoring program. A Training School includes rules updates, organizing an eight week training plan, and best practices in coaching Special Olympics Athletes. Sport Skills Program materials are provided to each participant. The mentoring program will pair you up with an established Special Olympics coach and you will coach alongside them for a minimum of 10 hours. For more information on the mentoring program, or to be paired up with a mentoring coach please contact your area director.

Certified Coach Badge – Once you have completed your sport certification you are eligible to receive your coach credential badge. Click here to upload your photo for the badge or email a photo to Kellie Murphy at


Need help completing one of the above trainings? CLICK HERE FOR A TUTORIAL.

Step 3: Continuing Education

Coaches must receive continuing education training every 3 years to maintain their certification. There are many different ways to renew your certification:

• Watch an online training video and complete a short quiz.

• Complete a CPR, CPI, or other approved course. This can only be done once. Please send completion certificate to Kellie Murphy at

• Attend a training school or utilize the mentoring program.

• Complete one of the following courses (additional fees may apply):

° Principles of coaching
° Coaching Special Olympics Athletes
° Coaching Unified Sports
° A Coach's Playbook: Introduction to Autism and Instructional Strategies for Coaching

Coaching Certification


Report is separated by area. Click the tab inside the document to find your area and certification status.

Coach & Chaperone Report - How to Guide

The coaching certification document is updated and reposted on the first Monday of each month.

Names may be listed more than once; there is one line (or record) for each sport certification course a person has attended. Additionally, completion of other course requirements (General Orientation, Protective Behaviors, MATP, Unified Sports, etc.) are listed with the person's name.

Sports certifications expire every three years. You will see when your certification expires in the column labeled "Date Sport Certification Expires/Expired." If your certification has expired or is about to expire, visit HERE to take the recertification test.

Protective Behaviors certification also expires every three years. Check the "Date Protective Behaviors Expires/Expired" column to make sure you and your coaches are up-to-date. If it is expired, or will expire before the next state-level event s/he plans on attending, retake the test.

Area Directors and Local Coordinators can use the filter function to see only their program’s coaches. In the "Area" column, click on the pull down arrow and uncheck the "select all" box, then check in the box for your delegation/area. Click "OK" and you can view your area.

Sports Clinician

A Sports Clinician is responsible for conducting group training sessions and presenting sport specific training curriculum to volunteer coaches for the purpose of meeting certification requirements. They help execute the Special Olympics Michigan Coaches Education Plan by maintaining a current understanding of rules and best practices associated with coaching a specific sport. If you are interested in becoming a sports clinician please contact Kellie Murphy at

Fit 5 Training

Athletes want to perform their best at every competition. They can do this by being fit. Fit 5 is a plan for physical activity, nutrition, and hydration. It can improve athletes health and fitness to make them the best athlete that they can be. Fit 5 is a fitness resource that provides tips and information for athletes, parents, coaches, partners and other supporters to lead a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, nutrition, and hydration.

The Fit 5 guide outlines strength, endurance, balance and flexibility exercises individuals can do at home, as well as nutrition and hydration lessons, weekly goals, and weekly and yearly tracking tools. The fitness cards are a great resource for coaches to utilize at practices. Like the Fit 5 guide, the fitness cards detail strength, endurance, and flexibility exercises and offer 5 different levels ranging from beginner to advanced.

Click here to view/download the at home training guide and tracker

Click here to view/download fitness cards