Big Blue Blowout – Coaches Training Weekend

What is the Big Blue Blowout?

The 21st (almost annual) Big Blue Blowout will be hosted this fall in Bloomington-Normal. BBB is an opportunity for coaches to attend multiple sport and coaching courses in one weekend.  BBB is a great opportunity to meet, network & swap best practices with other coaches from around the state. 

Event Details

Schedule & Course Descriptions:

Friday, October 1 

SOILL State Headquarters, 605 E. Willow St., Normal

  • Principles of Coaching (2:30pm-9:00pm) – This advanced course provides foundational knowledge related to both coaching and disabilities. This course will prepare coaches to: Develop a coaching philosophy, Build a successful team and sport program, Enhance athlete confidence and motivation, Teach sports skills, Implement fitness and nutrition strategies & Provide a safe sport environment.
  • General Orientation (9:00pm-9:30pm) – An introduction to SOILL; required to become certified.

Saturday October 2

Lincoln Leisure Center, 1206 S. Lee St., Bloomington

AM session: 9am – 12pm

  • Sport First Aid & Taping – Learn the key skills to be able to manage your teams’ basic training needs. Taught by a certified athletic trainer.
  • SnowshoeSnowshoeing is quickly becoming a favorite for outdoor winter activity. Combining aerobic activity with ease of walking over snow without sinking in, snowshoeing is a sport for all ages. Learn about what races SOILL offers and how to train and coach your athletes in this unique winter sport.
  • SoccerPlayed in just about every country, the sport’s success is due to the fact that it can be played just about any physical build and ability. Football requires little in the way of specialized equipment and is organized using simple, intuitive rules. Learn basic skills and drills, game rules and team play strategies.

Lunch & Learn: 12:00pm – 12:30pm

Virtual Fitness Club – This lunch session with share a new component to our Unified Fitness program, the Virtual Fitness Club. While in season, this fitness program provides weekly workouts for athletes to complete on their own and a monthly virtual workout via Zoom.

PM session:  1pm – 4pm

  • Athletics – The sport of athletics encourages athletes of all abilities and ages to compete at their optimum level. Track – walking events, assisted walking events, wheelchair events, 25 – 10,000 meter runs, and relay events. Field – standing long jump, running long jump, high jump, ball throws, shot-put, and mini-javelin. This course will cover them all.
  • Bocce – Bocce is an Italian game. The basic principle of the sport is to roll a bocce ball closest to the target ball, which is called a pallina. Learn how to play the game and teach your athletes to strategize; whether playing singles, doubles, team or Unified competition.

Yoga- Afternoon Unwind Short Course – 4:15pm – 5:00pm

A class practicing physical postures, breathing techniques and balance while promoting both physical and emotional well-being. If possible, please bring your own yoga mat.

Sunday October 3

Lincoln Leisure Center, 1206 S. Lee St., Bloomington

  • General Orientation (8:30am-9:00am) – An introduction to SOILL; required to become certified.
  • Basketball (9am -12pm)Focus on basic skills and drills, game rules, strategies/offensive play, defensive technique introduction.
  • Unified Sports + eSports (9am -12pm) – Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates for training and competition. This course will also include an intro to Unified eSports. Learn how to involve your programs in competitive, Unified gaming opportunities within your schools, and existing SO programming. eSports is a growing industry, and SOILL wants to train and educate coaches on how to get involved. Tools and resources are available to help a school or agency get up and running.


Complete the online google form – and email it to

To ensure a t-shirt please register by September 15th.

Additional Information

A housing stipend will be provided to reimburse a portion of hotel expenses for any Coach traveling more than 35 miles ($50 per night, 2 night maximum.)

Meals provided – Dinner Friday (if attending Principles of Coaching), Lunch Saturday, Dinner Saturday.

Who We Are

Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world.  Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life.  Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.

COVID Procedures

All athletes, coaches and spectators are required to wear a mask while inside the Big Blue Blowout facilities regardless of vaccination status. Individuals are not required to wear masks for outside activities (unless unable to social distance) but are strongly encouraged for those who are not fully vaccinated. 

Special Olympics Illinois will not be providing masks.  Athletes and coaches must bring their own.

Special Olympics Illinois is committed to providing the best athlete, volunteer, coach and supporter environment possible.  While we are excited to resume in-person events, the health and well-being of our constituents remains our top priority.  All of our in person events follow the COVID-19 recommended IDPH and CDC guidelines. 

Please review the COVID High-Risk fact sheet for more information:


Oct 01 - 03 2021


All Day


Carolyn Cronin


Carolyn Cronin
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