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5 "C"s Of Communication With Intellectually Disabled Athletes

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Annette Lynch (@SpecialOlympics) is a member of the PCA National Advisory Board and Senior Manager of Coaching Excellence & Sport Education for the Special Olympics North America (SONA). Lynch has previously served as a player on the USA Women’s Basketball Team, a basketball director for Special Olympics, Inc., Vice President of Special Olympics Maryland, Director of Education and Membership Services for the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), and a coach for nearly every level of sport.

Here, Lynch imparts the five "c"s of coaches communicating with athletes who have intellectual disabilities:

  • Clear (Make your words have one meaning.)
  • Concise (Use few words.)
  • Concrete (Ensure that conceptual information is understandable.)
  • Consistent (Use the same terms to convey the same meaning every time.)
  • Command (Use words that tie to a physical skill.)