COACHING CODE OF CONDUCT
The athlete/coach relationship is a privileged one. Coaches play a critical role in the
personal as well as athletic development of their athletes. They must understand and
respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be
extremely careful not to abuse it. Coaches must also recognize that they are conduits
through which the values and goals of a sport organization are channeled. Thus how an
athlete regards his/her sport is often dependent on the behaviour of the coach. The
following Code of Conduct has been developed to aid coaches in achieving a level of
behaviour which will allow them to assist their athletes in becoming well rounded,
self confident and productive human beings.
COACHES HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO:
1) Treat everyone fairly within the context of their activity, regardless of gender, place of
origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, political belief or economic status.
2) Direct comments or criticism at the performance rather than the athlete.
3) Consistently display high personal standards and project a favourable image of their
sport and of coaching.
a) Refrain from public criticism of fellow coaches; especially when speaking to the
media or recruiting athletes.
b) Abstain from the use of tobacco products while in the presence of her/his athletes
and discourage their use by athletes.
c) Abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages when working with athletes.
d) Discourage the use of alcohol in conjunction with athletic events or victory
celebrations at the playing site.
e) Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language
in the conduct of his/her duties.
4) Ensure that the activity being undertaken is suitable for the age, experience, ability and
fitness level of the athletes and educate athletes as to their responsibilities in contributing
to a safe environment.
5) Communicate and co-operate with registered medical practitioners in the diagnoses,
treatment and management of their athletes' medical and psychological problems
Consider the athletes' future health and well being as foremost when making decisions
regarding an injured athletes' ability to continue playing or training.
6) Recognize and accept when to refer athletes to other coaches or sport specialists.
Allow athletes' goals to take precedence over their own.
7) Regularly seek ways of increasing professional development and self-awareness. 8) Treat opponents and officials with due respect, both in victory and defeat and
encourage athletes to act accordingly.
Actively encourage athletes to uphold the rules of their sport and the spirit of such rules.
9) In the case of minors, communicate and co-operate with the athlete's parents or legal
guardians, involving them in management decisions pertaining to their child's
10) In an educational institution, be aware of the academic pressures placed on studentathletes and conduct practices and games in a manner so as to allow academic success.
1) Ensure the safety of the athletes with whom they work.
2) At no time become intimately and/ or sexually involved with their athletes. This
includes requests for sexual favours or threat of reprisal for the rejection of such requests.
3) Respect athlete's dignity; verbal or physical behaviours that constitute harassment or
abuse are unacceptable (definitionof harassment is attached).
4) Never advocate or condone the use of drugs or other banned performance enhancing
5) Never provide under age athletes with alcohol.
DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT
Harassment takes many forms but can generally be defined as behaviour including
comments and/ or conduct which is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful,,
malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to an individual of groups or individuals or
which creates an uncomfortable environment.
Harassment may include:
- written or verbal abuse or threats;
- sexually oriented comments;
- racial or ethnic slurs;
- unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunting about a person's body, attire, age,
marital status, ethnic or racial origin, religion etc.;
- displaying of sexually explicit, racist or other offensive or derogatory material;
- sexual, racial, ethnic or religious graffiti;
- practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person's safety,
or negatively affect performance;
- unwelcome sexual remarks, invitations or requests whether indirect or explicit, or
- leering (suggestive staring), or other obscene or offensive gestures; - condescension, paternalism or patronizing behaviour which undermines self-respect or
adversely affects performance or working conditions;
- physical conduct such as touching, kissing, patting, pinching, etc.;
- physical assault.
This Code was developed by Promotion Plus Women in Coaching Committee in conjunction with the
Ministry of Government Services and the Ministry Responsible for Sport and the Commonwealth Games
Coaching Advisory Committee and the Coaches Association of B.C.