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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.

Current Head Coach and Assistant Coach Volunteer Positions

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

Basketball Head Coach needed in Amherst

  • Practices are Sunday mornings at Amherst College
  • Location: Amherst
  • Season runs from December thru early April
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Dance Teachers (South Shore, Essex, & Middlesex)

  • Looking for individuals who have or currently teach dance to run a Special Olympics MA Dance program
  • Day & Time can be coordinated to work with volunteer schedule.
  • Will need to have or know a location to run the dance program out of
  • Email Vicky DiNatale at Vicky.DiNatale@specialolympicsma.org

Waltham Walking Club Coaches

  • Time will be dependent on volunteer schedule but the following times are ideal (After work during week & weekends)
  • 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

Tennis Head Coach needed in Framingham

  • Practices are TBD and can be worked around the coach’s schedule
  • Practices run from April thru June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

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):

Basketball coaches needed in Milford

  • Practices are Monday evenings from 6pm to 7pm in Milford
  • Practices run from early November to end of March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Floor hockey assistant coaches needed in Deerfield

  • Practices are Sunday’s from 9 am to 11 am in Deerfield
  • Practices run from early December to early April
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Basketball coaches needed in Worcester

Soccer and Flag Football Assistant Coaches needed in Fitchburg

Basketball and Ten Pin Bowling coaches needed in Fitchburg and Gardner

  • Basketball practices are Sunday afternoons in Fitchburg, December thru early April
  • Bowling practices are Saturday mornings in Gardner, December thru late March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Basketball Assistant Coaches needed in Belmont

Swim Assistant Coaches needed in Beverly

Swim Assistant Coaches needed in Lynn

Track and Field Assistant Coaches needed in Framingham

  • Practices are Sundays from 3-4pm in Framingham
  • Experience in field events is preferred for this position
  • Practices run from April thru June
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.