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Motor Activity Training Program

Athlete works with rings as as a coach cheers him on.
Coaching guide, rules and other materials for coaches.

Coaching Guide 2005 (PDF)

Warm-Up and Cool-Down Videos

Warm-Up and Cool-Down Videos

Dynamic Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs are an important part of every workout, training session, or competition. Follow along with these videos to learn how to perform the different exercises in the sport-specific warm-up and cool-down guides. Questions? Please email

Guides 2022 (PDF)

Sports Essentials


  • Divisioning The fundamental difference between Special Olympics competitions and those of other sports organizations is that athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate, and every athlete is recognized for his/her performance.


  • Overview of the Coach Development Model This video is an overview in English of the coach development model. It is about 4 minutes long. DOWNLOAD MP4
  • Coach Development Model Our volunteer coaches help Special Olympics athletes reach their best level of skill and performance. These resources can be used by Program sport directors to recruit and train coaches to reach their own heights of achievement.

Sport Rules

  • Sport Rules The heart of Special Olympics is competitions, the races, matches, tournaments and games for people with intellectual disabilities. In many ways, these competitions are like sports run by any other organization, but there are some key differences.
  • Sport Rules Article 1 The Official Special Olympics Sport Rules (“Sport Rules”) provide standards for Special Olympics training and competition. Sport Rules Article I provides general principles established by the Special Olympics Official General Rules (“General Rules”) that are not found in the sport-specific rules.


The Motor Activity Training program (MATP) is designed for those athletes with severe disabilities whose physical and/or behavioral limitations preclude participation in traditional Special Olympics team and individual sports competitions.  The emphasis in MATP is on training and participation rather than competition. The program develops core motor skills that are linked to Special Olympics official sports and places an emphasis on achieving an athlete’s personal best. Through MATP, Special Olympics demonstrates that people with severe disabilities can also participate and benefit from physical activity and experience social inclusion through sport.

Since 2001, the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) has generously supported the Special Olympics movement, expanding the reach and scope of key programs in health, inclusive sport and community building.  In 2023, the LCIF made a further commitment to support the unique and vitally important Motor Activity Training Program.  Through the support of LCIF, Special Olympics will be able to expand the global reach of MATP, ensuring that adults and children with intellectual disabilities will be able to access high quality, evidence informed sport and training opportunities, helping them to develop fundamental motor skills and sports skills appropriate for their ability levels.  In addition, the partnership will also create increased service activities for Lions Clubs and Leo volunteers in support of Special Olympics athletes and their families.  
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Motor Activity Training Program

This page draws together Motor Activity Training Program-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.