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Coaching & Sports Certification

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Steps to Becoming a Special Olympics North Dakota Coach

It is easy to become a Special Olympics coach.  There is a simple registration and certification process to complete and you will be on your way to becoming a coach.  Having well trained coaches is a key to the success of the Special Olympics North Dakota program.  We strive to provide training in the sport you coach and provide tips to help your team through their sport season.  There are a number of levels of certification that can be achieved. 

Level 0 Certification

All coaches need to be Level 0 certified prior to working with athletes. Level 0 coaches can coach any sport.

  1. Complete the Volunteer Application.- A copy of your driver's license or State issued ID is required to verify your identification.  A background check is required for all volunteers 18 years of age or older.  
  2. Review the General Orientation Information and complete the General Orientation Quiz.
  3. Complete the Protective Behaviors Training.
  4. Complete the Concussion in Sports Training.
  5. Sign the Coaches Code of Conduct form.

The Volunteer Application may be submitted to SOND via fax: 701-772-1265 or by mail to:
     Special Olympics North Dakota
     2616 So. 26th St
     Grand Forks, ND 58201

To find more information for each sport such as quizzes, dates and rules, please click here.

Level 1 Certification

If you wish to become level 1 certified in a specific sport you must attend a training school for that sport.

  1. Complete level 0 certification paperwork (see above).
  2. Attend a sport-specific training school.  
  3. Complete a 10-hour practicum working with Special Olympics athletes.
  4. Complete a webinar training from SOI
  5. Review training and coaching materials from Level 0, take the online quiz, submit 3 practice plans and post practice notes for 3 sessions to
  6. If coaching a Unified Sport, take the coaching Unified Sports Course found here

**If the Special Olympics Coach is already a registered High School or College coach, proof of certification of National Governing Body is all that is required.

Online Learning

Special Olympics continues to research and find ways to utilize the newest technologies to provide our coaches the best training in the most user-friendly format.  There are now a number of online courses available to coaches to recertify as a coach or advance your level of certification. 

Coaching Unified Sports through National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS)

Special Olympics North America and NFHS is proud to introduce the Coaching Unified Sports course.  This free course is designed to introduce coaches to the Unified Sports program, and will qualify a coach at a level 1 certification or can be used for recertification. 

About the Course:

  • 100% Free
  • Can be completed in as little as 90 minutes
  • Includes a free resource locker room with PDF's that can be saved or printed and accessed forever.
  • Course is active for one year from starting date
  • Provides interactive learning experience with Video, Text on screen, and Narrated voice text.

To learn more about or access the course visit the course page at the NFHS Learn website.

Level 1 Recertification

Level 1 certification is good for three years. Coaches who are level 1 certified in multiple sports can get recertified for all of their sports at the same time. To do this, coaches must complete one recertification course and complete one recertification application. 

  1. Attend a Recertification Course, which could be:
  2. Complete the Recertification application.

Level 2 Certification

  1. All the above certifications
  2. First Aid and CPR certified
  3. ASEP Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Course found here

Coaching Special Olympics athletes through American Sport Education Program (ASEP)

Special Olympics North America and the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) have teamed up to design the Coaching Special Olympics athletes online course.  This game changing course prepares Special Olympics coaches to use their sport-specific knowledge in coaching athletes with intellectual disabilities.  The course meets the SOND standards for level 1 certification or recertification. 

About the Course:

  • Course can be purchased for $16.95
  • Available for one year from start date
  • ASEP offers 24/7 technical support to coaches taking the course
  • Teaches and Reinforces the essentials of coaching individuals with intellectual disabilities

To learn more about or access this course and the many other online sport courses available to SOND coaches through ASEP visit the ASEP webpage by clicking here.

Level 3 Certification

  1. All the above certifications
  2. One of the following:
    • Principles of Coaching Course (Available at the SOND Conference)
    • Positive Coaching Alliance: Double Goal Coach: Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons
    • Positive Coaching Alliance: Double Goal Coach: Culture, Practice and Games
    • Fundamentals of Coaching found here

Contact Special Olympics North Dakota

If you have any questions regarding the online courses, the coaching certification opportunities, or more information on becoming a Special Olympics North Dakota coach, please contact us by email at or call (701) 746-0331.