The NFHS Coach Education Program is offering another free online course on www.nfhslearn.com to assist coaches who are involved in Special Olympics Unified Sports programs.
“Coaching Special Olympics Unified Sports®” provides techniques and tools for coaches who work with these programs, where Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities and individuals without intellectual disabilities (partners) train and compete together as a team.
This new course introduces coaches to another side of coaching, one in which goals, motivations and even the meaning of winning are just as unique as the position itself. With an introduction by former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, this course strives to help in the understanding and implementation of the most successful coaching strategies for Special Olympics Unified Sports athletes, as well as incorporating the similar challenges – such as fostering teamwork and defining roles in line with abilities – that any coaching position would encounter.
The NFHS received assistance from the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), Special Olympics North America, Special Olympics Arizona and Special Olympics, Inc. in developing this new online course.
“With the assistance of Special Olympics, the AIA and Special Olympics Arizona, we are pleased to be able to offer this course,” said Tim Flannery, NFHS director of coach education. “This program promotes social inclusion and participation for all students, and this course will be of tremendous help to coaches who serve in these programs.”
“The Special Olympics Unified Sports course is also appropriate for coaches in community-based Unified Sports programs, their coaches and players who have transitioned out of school,” said Annette Lynch, senior manager, sports partnerships, Special Olympics North America. “Social inclusion and maximum participation have no bounds.”
Special Olympics focuses on delivering high-quality year-round competition opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities in a variety of sports in an inclusive culture that stresses athletic excellence, rewards determination, emphasizes health and celebrates personal achievement.
The NFHS Coach Education Program offers 31 online courses, including the two core courses – Fundamentals of Coaching and First Aid Health and Safety for Coaches. Coaching Special Olympics Unified Sports® is the seventh free course in the NFHS Coach Education Program. The NFHS also offers 13 sport-specific courses and nine elective courses.
All NFHS Coach Education Program courses are available at www.nfhslearn.com.
About the Author:
Shane Monaghan, graphic arts technician/editorial assistant in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department.