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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 Marlboro

Basketball Head Coach in Attleboro

  • Practices are Tuesdays evenings in Attleboro.
  • Practices start in December thru March.
  • Must also be available for weekend games and tournaments.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Basketball Head Coach in Foxboro

Walking Club Head Coach needed in Southbridge

  • Oversee walking club,  send out necessary communication to club, and demonstrate necessary check in protocools
  • Where; Westville Dam in Southbridge, MA.
  • When: TBD based on volunteer availability. Preferably early evening weekday or weekend.
  • Looking to start mid Novemeber
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club/ Snowshoeing Head Coaches needed throughout Massachusetts

  • We are looking to expand our walking clubs throughout Massachusetts even in the winter! Yes! During the winter, everyone needs help staying active during the winter.
  • Where and when: Depending on volunteer location and availability. Staff can assist in locking down a  location for the club. During winter we can look for indoor facilities.
  • Can start in November -January.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Floor Hockey Head Coach needed in Deerfield

Basketball Head Coach needed in Milford

  • Practices are Monday evenings in Milford from 6pm to 7pm
  • Practices start in mid November thru March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Basketball and/or Floor hockey Head Coach needed in Marlboro

  • For a skill based program for ages 13+
  • Program will occur on Saturday mornings from 12pm to 2 pm in Marlboro
  • Program is six weeks long from November 6th thru December 18th.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Soccer Head Coach needed in Springfield

  • Practices are Tuesday evenings in Springfield from 5 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Practices start August 24th thru November 2nd
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

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.

Basketball Head Coach needed in Mansfield

  • Practices are Tuesday evenings in Mansfield (location TBD) from 4:30pm to 6pm
  • Practices start in December thru February
  • 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.

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

Basketball Assistant Coaches needed in Auburn

Hockey Assistant Coaches needed in Deerfield

Basketball Assistant Coaches needed in Foxboro

Basketball Assistant Coaches needed in Milford

  • Practices are Monday evenings in Milford from 6pm to 7pm
  • Practices start in mid November thru March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Bowling Assistant Coaches needed in Milford

  • Practices are Monday evenings in Milford from 6pm to 7pm
  • Practices are currently going on and end in late March
  • 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!

Soccer Assistant Coaches needed in Springfield

  • Practices are Tuesday evenings in Springfield from 5 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Practices start August 24th thru November 2nd
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

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.

Ten Pin Bowling Assistant Coach needed in Auburn

  • Practices occur on Monday evenings from 6pm to 8pm
  • Season runs from October to end of March
  • Prior bowling experience and knowledge is required
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information

Ten Pin Bowling and Basketball Coaches/Volunteers needed in Gardner and Leominster

  • Basketball practices are Sunday afternoons in Leominster
  • Bowling practices are Saturday mornings in Gardner
  • Practices start in December and run thru March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Alpine Ski Assistant Coaches needed in Westford

  • Coaches are asked to commit to one or more practices (three practices available)
  • Practices are Sundays from 2:00pm-4:00pm in Westford
  • Practices are Tuesdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm in Westford
  • Practices are Wednesdays from 5:30pm-7:30pm in Princeton
  • Practices start in mid December thru March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@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