Coaching Ethics

The most important reason young people play sports is to have fun

Coaches are teachers and mentors. Coaches must fulfill these obligations with every player at every practice and every game by:

1. Improving the ability to teach the skills of the game and thus maximize each player’s potential.

2. Learn to incorporate life skill training into practices and games.

3. Selecting assistant coaches & helpers and providing them with training/mentoring such that the players benefit even more from the program (and the fans remain positive).

4. Learning how to help each player develop and maintain a positive self-concept.

Coaches are protectors. Coaches must make the commitment to ensure their players remain safe by:

1. Shielding players from physical and verbal abuse.

2. Making every attempt to insure that all players will have safe passage to and from games/practices.

3. Violence at games and practices is absolutely prohibited. All players, parents and coaches should have conflict resolution training. In addition there must be league sanctions for any violent act.

4. Coaches must pledge to protect the players from any act of sexual assault or harassment by anyone associated with the team or league.

Coaches are role models. Young men and women are greatly influenced by their coaches.

Thus, it is extremely important to set a good example.

1. Under no circumstances will alcohol and other drugs be used in front of the players. In fact alcohol and other drugs should not, in anyway, be emphasized around the players.

2. Smoking and smokeless tobacco are equally off limits.

3. Gambling is a final topic that shall not be linked with sport.

Encouraging Diversity. The Coach needs to create an atmosphere that encourages diversity and provides acceptance of all, such that:

1. Team members, opponents and officials should be treated with respect, independent of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or skill level.

2. Potential team members should be given a fair opportunity to try out, and not be eliminated on the basis of: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or reputation.

Sportsmanship and ethics. A coach must lead by example – showing respect to each team member, the opponents and the officials.

1. In order to prepare players for life, a coach must help them win and lose with class.

· Positive rituals recognizing the opponents are to everyone’s benefit.

· All team members should have a fair opportunity to play.

· Taunting after a win and refusing to recognize opponents after a loss are equally unacceptable.

2. A coach is responsible for establishing and maintaining team pride (regardless of record).

· Stressing team and individual strengths and accomplishments is a good start.

3. A coach must establish the parameters of fair play so that the team fully understands.

· Under no condition should any member of a team attempt to injure an opponent!!!


Modified for the John Barker Basketball League, Art Taylor, director of Urban Youth Sports, Northeastern 

University’s Center for the study of Sport society, 716 Columbus Ave., suite 161, Boston, MA 02120 (617)-373-8936

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