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Get Involved

As a Coach

Coach a local Special Olympics team

When you become a Special Olympics coach or assistant coach, you will find the rewards go far beyond the finish line. You will help athletes discover their physical skills, self-worth, courage, and capacity to grow. Coaching is one of the most important and rewarding volunteer roles in Special Olympics. That is why 1,600 men and women in Massachusetts choose to donate their time and talents to the athletes of Special Olympics Massachusetts as coaches.

 

“I gave my medals to my coaches because THEY deserve to be medaled. I wouldn’t have my medals without them. If it wasn’t for coaches and volunteers, this wouldn’t be possible. They need to be recognized, too. I wanted to say thanks to them.”  – Athlete, Jen Harrington

Requirements

The age requirement for becoming a head coach with Special Olympics is 18 and 16 for an assistant coach. Just like any other sports organization, coaches are responsible for helping with all aspects of the team, including:

  • Attending pre-season coaches meetings.
  • Assisting with recruiting athletes, partners, and additional volunteers.
  • Maintaining athlete records and registrations.
  • Developing an 8-10 week practice schedule for the season.
  • Conducting well organized practices.
  • Attending sectional and state-level competitions with your team.
  • Have a working knowledge of your sport and abide by the sports rules of Special Olympics.

Athlete and coach talking.

All coaches are required to complete a Class A volunteer form. Individuals over the age of 18 are required to provide their social security number as they are CORI and background checked to ensure the safety and well being of Special Olympics athletes.

Individuals under 18 are required to have two non-family members write recommendations for them. These forms can be provided to interested coaches after we locate a coaching opportunity for them.

All additional Special Olympics MA coaching resources can be found on our Resources for Coaches and Local Programs page.

How to Get Involved

Please see our current and upcoming head coach and assistant coach volunteer needs in the two sections below.  If these positions don’t match your interests and availability, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form  and we will email you with additional volunteer opportunities in your area.

Other Volunteer Positions Needed –

COVID Screeners (for check in to take temperatures, ask health questions, etc.) needed in Leominster on Wednesday evenings, Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons.

Current Head Coach and Assistant Coach Volunteer Positions

Head Coach positions (must be 18 years or older):

Volleyball, Cornhole and Bocce Head Coaches needed in Fitchburg

  • Practices are Sundays from 2 pm to 5 pm (2 shifts) in Fitchburg
  • Practices run from April thru early June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club Coach in Northbridge

  • Looking for walking club head coach at Northbridge area.
  • Time will be dependent on volunteer schedule but the following times are ideal (Wed/Thurs evening,  Saturday AM, Sunday late AM).
  • Location can also be selected by volunteers.
  • Clubs meet 1x a week for 1 hour for 6-8 weeks.
  • Email Vicky.DiNatale@specialolympicsma.org for more information

Swimming Head Coach needed in Beverly

  • Practices occur on Sundays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in Beverly
  • Season runs from January to early June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Track and Field Head Coach in Dedham

  • Practices are Saturday’s at Dedham Country Day @ 11am
  • Practices run from April 2nd thru June 18th
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Flag Football Head Coach needed in Dedham

Young Athletes Program (Level 1) Head Coaches needed throughout the state (ages 18+)

  • We are looking for volunteers to help run multi-week Young Athletes programs for children ages 2-7! Young Athletes is an introductory sport and play program which focuses on early skill development in areas such as running, balance, jumping, throwing, catching, striking and kicking. Young Athletes offers families and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.  Activities covered during the course of a program can be referenced in the Young Athletes Activity Guide.
  • If any of the following describes you, then this is a perfect opportunity:
    • Background in working with children with intellectual disabilities or just individuals who:
    • Have a passion for working with children
    • Have a passion for sports
    • Can be a self starter with leading a schedule of activities. Also, flexibility and having fun is key!
  • Commitment to a 1 hour session for a series of 6 weeks is required.
  • Please contact Eric Archambault for more details about how you can get involved! We have a number of program sites set up, but we are also looking to start new programs in other areas of the state as well.

Young Athletes Program (Level 2) Head Coaches needed throughout the state (ages 18+)

  • We are looking for volunteers to help run multi-week Young Athletes programs for children ages 6-12! Young Athletes Level 2 classes focus on individual sport skill development and teaching early game play concepts. This is a nice bridge program for children who may not necessarily be ready for Special Olympics team sports, but still need gradual introduction to the world of sports. A variety of sports can be covered during a Level 2 program such as track & field, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, floorball, golf and flag football.
  • If any of the following describes you, then this is a perfect opportunity:
    • Background in working with children with intellectual disabilities or just individuals who:
    • Have a passion for working with children
    • Have a passion for sports
    • Can be a self starter with leading a schedule of activities. Also, flexibility and having fun is key!
  • Commitment to a 1 hour session for a series of 6 weeks is required.
  • Please contact Eric Archambault for more details about how you can get involved! We have a number of program sites set up, but we are also looking to start new programs in other areas of the state as well.

Assistant Coach Positions (must be 16 years or older):

Walking Club Assistant  Coach in Lynn

Volleyball, Cornhole and Bocce Assistant Coaches needed in Fitchburg

  • Practices are Sundays from 2 pm to 5 pm (2 shifts) in Fitchburg
  • Practices run from April thru early June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Bocce Assistant Coaches needed in Easthampton

  • Practices are tentatively going to be Wednesday evenings at 6pm in Easthampton
  • Practices run from June thru late July/early August
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Track Assistant Coaches/Volunteers needed in Milford

  • Practices are Tuesday’s from 6 pm to 7:30 pm at Milford High School
  • Practices run from March 22nd thru June 6th
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Swimming Assistant Coaches/Volunteers needed in Milford

  • Practices are Fridays from 4 pm to 6 pm Milford High School
  • Practices run from March 4th thru June 3rd
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club Assistant Coaches Multiple Areas- see below

  • Your duties will include walking with the athletes, assisting the head coach with check ins, COVID screening etc. and help supervise the club
  • Each club will meet for 1 hour, 1x a week for about 6-8 weeks.  Clubs day/time/ dates are based off head coaches availability so it will differ club to club
  • Clubs that need an assistant coach are located in HOPKINTON, ARLINTON/LEXINGTON (location TBD), WELLESLEY/NATICK (Location TBD)
  • Other locations can be found here
  • Email Vicky DiNatale at Vicky.dinatale@specialolympicsma.org for more information!

Swimming Lifeguard needed in Haverhill

  • Practices occur on Saturdays from 3pm to 4:30pm in Haverhill
  • Season runs from November to end of March
  • Must be lifeguard certified for this position
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Swimming Coach needed in Beverly

  • Practices occur on Sundays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in Beverly
  • Season runs from January to early June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Swimming Coach needed in Dorchester

  • Practices occur on Wednesday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Dorchester
  • Season runs from January to early June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Swimming Coach needed in Hyannis

Track Assistant Coaches needed in Framingham

  • Practices are Sundays from 3pm to 4:30pm at Bowditch Field
  • Practices run from April 3rd thru June 5th
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Swimming Coach needed in Gloucester

  • Practices occur on Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm and Saturdays from 8am-9am in Gloucester
  • Season runs from January to early June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Track Assistant Coaches with ASL experience needed in Hudson

Track and Field Coach in Lawrence