Athlete Leadership

SO Indiana State Office Contact

Jeff Mohler
President & CEO

Please visit our Resource Library for more information about current and upcoming ALPs University semesters.


Athlete Leadership training empowers athletes to develop leadership skills and utilize their abilities to undertake leadership roles, influence change in the Special Olympics movement, and help create inclusive communities around the world.

Through organized training, practical experiences, and with mentoring, athletes are prepared to undertake meaningful positions throughout the Special Olympics organization, both on and off the playing field. Athlete Leaders work as employees of Special Olympics, coach and volunteer in local programs, speak to community groups, represent other athletes on boards and management teams, promote health and fitness, organize and run Athlete Leadership Councils, and share the message of the movement through visual arts and social media.

Athlete Leadership University

Special Olympics Indiana’s foundational program is Athlete Leadership University, which meets two weekends per year (Fall and Spring). Starting with the “Introduction to Athlete Leadership” course, athletes learn about Special Olympics, create a personal mission statement, and plan how they can lead in the organization.

Athletes then select one of seven majors (Communication, Sports, Governance, Technology, Health and Fitness, Leadership through Visual Arts, and Event Planning and Management) to pursue. Each major consists of a series of courses leading to graduation two to three years later. Following each class session, an athlete must complete a practicum related to the course topic. Review our Handbook for Athlete Leaders for more details on Athlete Leadership University and the curriculum.

Spring 2021

The 2021 athlete leadership season is starting with an updated name for ALPs U. We are now Athlete Leadership University, a small but important update to align with changes in the SOI programs. Personally, I am starting a quarter jar for every time I say “ALPs.”

The dates for Athlete Leadership University in the upcoming year are:

  • Saturday, April 24 & Sunday, April 25
  • Saturday, Oct. 2 & Sunday, Oct. 3

The spring session is virtual. We will offer:

  • Introduction to Athlete Leadership – for our rookie athlete leaders
  • Advanced Leadership Skills – for our veteran athlete leaders. This includes the following topics, each topic is 2-hours in length. Athletes will break out into 3 groups and rotate through each topic:
    • Managing Time & Tasks
    • Engaging with Others
    • Better Money Habits (taught by our sponsor, Bank of America)

We are hopeful that we will return to Butler’s campus in the fall and resume our traditional course offerings.

The course schedule for April will be similar to the 2020 sessions.

  • Saturday: 10 AM – 4 PM (EST)
  • Sunday: 10 AM – 1 PM (EST)

*NOTE: Spring registration is completed online and must be received by March 29, 2020. Use the button below to access the registration form. Contact Elesia Yoon with any questions.

General Information

Graduates of Athlete Leadership University become members of the Special Olympics Indiana Athlete Leadership University Alumni Association. This special group of athlete leaders promotes the organization through numerous leadership roles in various projects and management teams. The association newsletter, ALPs Alumnus, is publish quarterly. For more information, contact the association at

*Area and County Programs that seek to involve athletes in leadership roles are required to attend a two-hour certification session.

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