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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):

Soccer Head Coach needed in Worcester

  • Practices are Sunday mornings in Worcester (location TBD)
  • Practices start in early September thru November
  • 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.

Fitness Head Coaches needed throughout the state

  • We are looking for volunteers to help run fitness programs for our athletes! It’s so important that we provide our athletes the chance to reach their exercise recommendation/ goals outside of their sport practices.  If any of the following describe you then this is a perfect opportunity for you:
    • Background in fitness/health or just individuals who
    • Have a passion for living a healthy lifestyle
    • Have a passion or basic understanding about fitness
    • Teaches an exercise class
  • These will be multi-week programs. We have different program options available for volunteers to pick from depending on their interest/background.

Soccer Head Coaches needed in Mansfield (for the fall season)

  • Practices are Sunday, 4pm to 5pm, at Plymouth Street Fields in Mansfield
  • Practices start in September thru the fall
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Soccer Head Coach needed in Newton

  • Practices are Sunday mornings in Newton (location TBD)
  • Practices start in early September thru November
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Corn Hole Head Coach needed in Framingham

  • Practices are TBD and can be worked around the coaches schedule
  • Practices start in early September thru November
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

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

Cycling Assistant Coaches needed in Acton and Bedford

  • Practices are Monday evenings at the Bruce Freeman Trail in Acton
  • Practices are Wednesday evenings at the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford
  • Practices start June 7th thru the summer
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Softball Assistant Coaches needed in Leominster

Flag Football and Soccer Coaches/Volunteers needed in Leominster (for the fall season)

  • Practices are Sunday afternoons in Leominster
  • Practices start in September and run thru November
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Swim Assistant Coaches needed in Beverly

  • Practices are Sundays from 1:30pm-3:30pm at the Greater Beverly YMCA
  • Practices start in mid September thru December
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.