Guidelines for Coaches, Selectors and Team-Managers
The Irish Amateur Archery Association recognises the key roles coaches, selectors and team managers play in the lives of children in sport and has fully adopted the principles of the Irish Sports Council’s “Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport”.
Leaders in children’s sport must strive to create a positive environment for the children in their care. They have an overall responsibility to take all necessary steps to ensure that positive and healthy experiences are provided.
A coach of juvenile teams has a duty of care which is more onerous than that of a coach to an adult team and must act as a role model and promote the positive aspects of the sport and maintain the highest standards of personal conduct at all times.
Leaders must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every child and must treat everyone equally, regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
Leaders should have as their first priority the children’s safety and enjoyment of the sport and should adhere to the guidelines and regulations set out in this policy document.
The use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco must be actively discouraged as being incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity.
When travel is involved Leaders travelling with children must sign a separate agreement. Parents will also be asked to sign permission forms in these instances.
Coaches, Selectors and Team Managers should always:
- remember your behaviour to players, other officials, and opponents will have an effect on the players in your care.
- be generous with praise and never ridicule or shout at players for making mistakes or for losing. All young players are entitled to respect.
- be careful to avoid the “star system”. Each child deserves equal time and attention.
- take care not to expose a child intentionally or unintentionally to embarrassment or disparagement by use of sarcastic or flippant remarks about the child or his or her family.
- abstain from the use of physical punishment or physical force. Never punish a mistake by verbal means, physical means or exclusion.
- insist that players in your care respect the rules of the game. Insist on fair play and ensure that your players know that you will not tolerate cheating or bullying behaviour.
- remember that young players play for fun and enjoyment and that skill and playing for fun have priority over highly structured competition. Never make winning the only objective.
- encourage the development of respect for opponents, officials, selectors and other coaches and avoid criticism of fellow coaches.
- avoid working alone and ensure there is adequate supervision for all activities. It is important to realise that certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted by the participant or by outsiders.
- set realistic goals for the participants and not push young players.
- Create a safe and enjoyable environment.
- not criticise other leaders, officials, coaches, and selectors. You are the role model for the children in your care.
- avoid the use of alcohol, before coaching, during events and on trips with young players.
Archery Leaders are responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with players. It is unadvisable for coaches to involve young players in their personal lives and a visit to the coach’s home or overnight stays are strongly discouraged by the Irish Amateur Archery Association.
When approached to take on a new player a Coach must ensure that any previous coach-student relationship has been ended by the student or others in a professional manner.
When young players are invited into adult groups or squads it is advisable to get agreement from a parent, guardian or carer. Boundaries of behaviour in adult groups are normally different from the boundaries that apply to junior groups or squads.
Archery Leaders who become aware of a conflict between their obligations to their players and their obligation to the Irish Amateur Archery Association must make explicit the nature of the conflict and the loyalties and responsibilities involved to all parties concerned.
Archery Leaders should communicate and co-operate with medical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of their players’ medical or related problems. They should avoid giving advice of a personal or medical nature if not qualified to do so. Any information
of a personal or medical nature must be kept strictly confidential unless the welfare of the child requires the passing on of this information.
The nature of the relationship between leader and a participant can often mean that a leader will learn confidential information about a player or player’s family. This information must be regarded as confidential and except where abuse is suspected, must not be divulged to a third party without the express permission of the player/family.
Coaches should familiarise themselves with the “Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport” and with the Irish Amateur Archery Association’s Code of Conduct and follow procedures outlined therein if they suspect or receive complaints of abuse of any sort.
Archery Leaders should:
- be positive during session, praise and encourage effort as well as results.
- plan and prepare appropriately.
- put the welfare of the young person first and strike a balance between this and winning or results.
- encourage fair play and treat all participants equally.
- recognise personal and developmental needs.
- be qualified and up-to-date with knowledge and the skill of the sport for young people.
- involve parents where possible and inform parents when problems arise.
- keep record of attendance at training.
- keep a brief record of injury(s) and action taken.
- keep a brief record of problem/action/outcomes, if behavioural problems arise.
Where possible Archery Leaders should avoid:
- spending excessive amounts of time with children away from others.
- taking sessions alone.
- taking children to their home.
- taking children on journeys alone in their car.
Archery Leaders must not:
- use any form of punishment or physical force on a child.
- exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.
- engage in rough physical games, sexually provocative games or allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind or make sexually suggestive comments about, or to a child.
- take measurements or engage in certain types of fitness testing without the presence of another adult of the appropriate gender.
- undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of children.