Special athletes

To read on Special Olympics website:

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes

Special Olympics Coaching Guides


In Special Olympics sports, winning and losing are beside the point. Building confidence, skill and fitness through training and competition are the foundation of the Special Olympics sports experience.

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Quiz

1) What is the advantage to using the demonstration component of instruction to illustrate a skill?

  • The athlete hears you explain the skill by using one- or two-part instructions, and then it’s clear what is expected of him or her
  • The athlete sees what she’s being asked to do and is able to follow the instructions.
  • The athlete receives one-on-one attention from the coach.
  • Since combining the four components is nearly impossible, it is the best way to teach an athlete a new skill.

2) What should a coach do after teaching a new skill to an athlete?

  • Test the athlete on her/his ability to perform it.
  • Continue to add new skills until the athlete appears overwhelmed.
  • Repeat and reinforce the new skill immediately after it is performed or if s/he demonstrates the correct behavior.
  • Have the athlete repeat the steps to test for memorization.

3) What must a coach do to help an athlete achieve a skill?

  • Evaluate whether the skill was achieved.
  • Have the athlete apply the skill in a game-like situation.
  • Give the athlete more playing time during a game.
  • Separate the skill into tasks.

4) What is the best approach to communicate effectively with athletes?

  • Use the same words or phrases to elicit a desired action.
  • Use “don’t” commands so the athletes do not hurt themselves.
  • Use at least 4-part directions to include the entire action, not one- or two-part instructions.
  • Use directional references often so athletes can acclimate themselves to the terrain.

5) What should a coach consider in making her instructions more meaningful to athletes?

  • Use words that are clear and criteria-laden.
  • Use words that are concrete and conforming.
  • Use words that are consistent and command-oriented.
  • Use words that are concise and compassionate.

6) What strategy is most likely to facilitate learning for an athlete WHO has difficulty focusing on a task?

  • Have the athlete demonstrate an activity for her peers.
  • Have the athlete perform the same task until she learns the skill.
  • Move the other athletes away from her until she is back on task.
  • Change the athlete to an observer until she is ready to focus.

7) Why is it important to teach athletes to follow the Governing Body & Special Olympics Rules?

  • Competition will be inconsistent regardless of where the athlete is competing.
  • Athletes need to be exposed to a variety of rules so they can compete in different settings.
  • Athletes need to know that National Governing Body rules take precedence over Special Olympics rules.
  • Athletes will be better prepared if they know and can apply rules in competition.

On the website page, you will have an immediate retroaction for each answer, letting you know if it is a good one or not.

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