Individuals with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD) are happy with whatever they do. They expect little and appreciate every activity offered to them and, if they’re not so good at what they do, we assume it must be due to their disabilities. After all, in the world of Special Olympics, the vast majority of athletes compete in sport events at a low skill level compared to their generic (normally abled) counterparts.
In this book I outline what I have learned in recent years working with IDD athletes in BC Canada: that their low skill levels may not be so much due to their disabilities after all, but in fact may be more closely related to OUR OWN low expectations of them and associated sub-optimal training programs.
This book hopes to adequately convey my revelation that with the proper environment, including our elevated expectations of them and modified training programs, IDD athletes can inspire and perform at skill levels never before thought possible! Moreover, the principles discovered here can also be applied to generic athletes and indeed to all of us, because there are elements to learning that we can all benefit from.
Book size 132 pages
24 different basic sports programs are available to complement this book (paper or ebook). These sports are divided in three bundles (summer, winter and indoor sports) and are only available from this website (and not part of this book) as updates are frequent.
After 6 years, Special Olympics British Columbia has seen the results of changed expectations and focused skill acquisition programs. Our athletes are healthier, more independent and self-confident and they are achieving an incredible level of performance. I recommend this book to everyone.Lois McNary: Vice President Sport Special Olympics British Columbia
As a PGA Teaching Pro and a Special Olympics golf coach, I found this program to be extremely valuable not only for coaching athletes with an intellectual disability but for coaching any young golfer. I recommend this method to everyone.Dennis Bradley: CPGA Professional, Director of Instruction at Copper Point Golf, BC.
This approach gave me skills and helped me achieve goals I never thought were possible before.Matt Williams,: Special Olympics World Games Silver medalist and Special Olympics International Board Member.
A few years ago we were happy that SO athletes just knew basketball rules, now they play real basketball.Overheard at an SO basketball tournament in Kelowna, BC.
Boys were not interested in sports growing up or in school, no coordination, concentration and had a hard time fitting in, I thought they just weren't to be sporty… after graduating I was getting worried they'd end up video game couch potatoes! I never thought that I could see such a transformation with my sons, they are confident, healthy, more independent and are so focused and successful at their sports, they train everyday.Karren Thibeault: Jesse and Zach's mom
Functional Testing (provided by Special Olympics British Columbia, Canada) http://www.specialolympics.bc.ca
Energy Balance for Special Olympians Learn how many calories are consumed in each SO sport
Club Fit Manual (provided by Special Olympics British Columbia, Canada) http://www.specialolympics.bc.ca
Born and raised in Quebec, Jacques Thibault wore the maple leaf for Canada in long track speed skating at the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympics and was a World Championships silver medalist in 1984. After obtaining a Master’s degree in science (physical activity – motor learning) at Laval University, Jacques worked with some of the top athletes in the world in his role as Program and General Manager of the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Alberta from 1990 to 2013.Jacques is recognized as a world-class sports expert, and was an original contributor of Canada’s ‘Own the Podium’ program for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and ‘Own the Podium’ Russia at the 2014 Games in Sochi. He is a Canadian level five coach and has been directly involved with more than 50 Olympic medalists in winter sports.More recently, Jacques collaborated on the development of Special Olympics BC Performance Program, and has been the driving force behind the implementation of this program. Jacques is also spearheading the Special Olympics BC Sport Development Program, travelling extensively to assist in the development of new sport programs and innovative methods of training for coaches and working with SO athletes to develop and optimize their skills. Jacques is the author of two technical books on training design and skill acquisition in speed skating, Training Designs for Long Track and Short Track Speed Skating and The Secrets of Short Track Speed Skating, as well as Big Red’s Ice Machine, a children’s book about an ice resurfacing machine.