Coach Education and Development

Coach Sport Training & Certification Status Reports

Coach Sport Certification Reports (Lists sport certifications earned, expiration dates, and whether the person needs to complete Coaching Special Olympics Athletes course to renew certification)

Sport Certification Report for ALL Coaches (includes all individuals who have ever earned any sport certification from SOMD; will NOT include anyone who has never earned a sport certification) – updated 05/13/24                            

Coach Training Transcripts (Lists all courses and education opportunities completed by coaches)

Coach Training Course Report for ALL Coaches (includes all individuals who have ever completed a sport coach training course with SOMD; will NOT include anyone who has not taken a coach education course from SOMD) – updated 05/13/24.

For all of the above reports, use the search/find function of your browser to most easily locate the info for a specific coach.   

Online/Self-Paced Coach Education Opportunities (for Coach Sport Certification)

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes (CSOA) (hosted by Human Kinetics)

CSOA is the core baseline course required for virtually all Special Olympics coaches. A coach is only required to completed this specific course one-time, however coaches must renew their Coach Sport Certifications at least every three years through completion of other coach education and development options.

Human Kinetics, a premiere provider of coach education resources, is retiring this course from its catalogue over the next 12 months and, as such, it does not appear on its public website. However, SOMD has arranged to pre-purchase "licenses" for this online course that can be completed between now and October 31, 2024. Coaches needing to complete CSOA should send an email to to obtain a license and directions on completing the course. Due to the limited number of available licenses, and our inability to procure more, requests for this online CSOA course will only be honored for those individuals who have not already completed CSOA.

Note: This new arrangement with SOMD providing licenses to coaches to complete CSOA through Human Kinetics means that coaches no longer need to pre-pay for the course and then request a reimbursement. Coaches should also expect that obtaining a license may take up to 2 business days from the time of requesting one.

Coaching Unified Sports (CUS) (hosted by NFHS)

Principles of Coaching (PoC) (hosted by CoachTube)

We’re pleased to share that Principles of Coaching is now available for coaches to take as an online, on-demand, self-paced, video-based course via CoachTube. Though coaches will need to create an account with CoachTube, the course is free. At the completion of the course, and after successfully passing the course test, coaches will be able to download an e-certificate that they must forward to to get course credit and earn or renew the Advanced Level Coach Certification (provided they’ve met all other requirements). SOMD does NOT get any reports directly from CoachTube so coaches must send this e-certificate to earn credit for the course.

To access the course, go to CoachTube and enter Special Olympics in the search box (where it asks “What’s your sport?”)

Introduction to Autism and Instructional Strategies for Coaching (hosted by Special Olympics Virginia)

Additional Third Party Online Coach Education Courses (for RENEWING an existing Sport Certification)

List of Human Kinetics (HK) courses approved by SOMD for coach re certification

The list of courses offered by Human Kinetics is being changed and under review. The current file may list some courses that are no longer available. An updated and vetted list will be posted no later than November 30, 2023.

Note on Courses from HK and other 3rd parties: Please note that these excellent courses are designed for coaches of individuals who do not have an intellectual disability (and frequently coaches of youth). That said, the content, techniques and suggestions offered are certainly adaptable to use when coaching Special Olympics athletes. In addition, any rules that are referenced or included in these courses for specific sports may be different from the Special Olympics rules or that of its National Governing Bodies (NGBs). Coaches are responsible for knowing and applying the correct rules for their sport (links are available on individual sport-specific pages of the Coach Resource Page)..

Reimbursement for Online Coach Education Courses

SOMD is pleased to support its coaches and provides reimbursement of up to $20 per pre-approved online coach education course per season for registered and active coaches. To receive reimbursement, please send your name, mailing address, email and telephone number along with the receipt of payment for the course and confirmation from the course provider that you have completed the course to

In some cases, Area programs are able to provide additional reimbursement for courses costing more than $20. Please consult you Area leadership for additional information.

Individuals must be active coaches coaching in a SOMD Area program to be eligible for reimbursement of course fees.

Coach Education Opportunities – In-person and Virtual

Check individual sports pages for sport-specific coach education opportunities.

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes (CSOA) — SOMD is pleased to offer in-person training sessions for Coaching Special Olympics Athletes, a requirement for all Coaches.  (Due to the conversational and interactive nature of this course, we must have a minimum of 7 registrants at least 2 business days prior to the course in order for it to be held.)

Live via Zoom (CANCELLED due to insufficient registration)
Sunday, April 21, 2024, 9:00am - 1:00pm

Principles of Coaching (PoC) – SOMD is pleased to host additional sessions of the Principles of Coaching course, necessary for all coaches wishing to take teams/athletes or serve as a coach to any competition above the state level (including USA Games, World Games, NITs, NIRSA events, etc.). This free course is intended for coaches with a minimum of two years coaching experience and, along with appropriate sport-specific training, serves to certify a coach as an Advanced coach. (Due to the conversational and interactive nature of this course, we must have a minimum of 7 registrants at least 2 business days prior to a PoC course in order for it to be held.)

There are currently no Principles of Coaching courses scheduled.

Important Note On ALL Virtual Training Sessions: Given the interactive nature of this course, if this course gets changed to a virtual training session, participants MUST be able to join the Zoom meeting with a webcam, speaker and microphone so we can see and hear everyone during the course. Please also check in advance of the session that Zoom works properly for your computer (with webcam, microphone and speaker) as we will have limited opportunity to provide tech assistance during the session itself. (Zoom’s online help has been fairly solid.)

For Sport-specific live/webinar Coach Education Sessions, please consult the Coach Resource Page for that specific sport.


Would your Area like to host a live Coaching Special Olympics Athletes, Principles of Coaching or sport-specific learning opportunity for coaches? Please send a note to to begin that process.

Note: Any and all courses and learning events must be approved in advance by SOMD in order to be considered for coach certification or renewal.

Coach Education and Development Model Overview

View the Coach Education Model

View Coach Progression Graphic (by J. Larrimore) – This is a one-page graphic that explains the requirements for each level within the new coaching education model. Thank you to Janet Larrimore for creating and sharing this.

Frequently Asked Questions (under development)

Coach Education and Development Model Briefings: With the full implementation of Coach Education and Sport Certification Requirements starting with the training season for 2020 Summer Games sports, SOMD offered several webinars to review the coach education model and requirements, consequences for not maintaining up-to-date sport certifications, and other related topics. Please review the slides and recording of one of these sessions (content was essentially the same for each session).

Download the slides from these briefings

View a recording of a briefing