Code of Conduct for Coaches and Athletes
When you attend training and events we expect you to act in a sensible way, be responsible for your own behavior and do as coaches and officials ask. Race Team RVA is your club and we’d like you to make the most of what we offer, but not at the expense of others.
- The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to uphold standards of ethical behavior for both coaches and athletes. The components of ethical behavior are: integrity, responsibility, competence and confidentiality.
- Club members participating in coached group sessions or receiving personal coaching from the club’s qualified coaches will be deemed to have accepted the Code, and to endorse and subscribe to the principles and responsibilities embodied in them.
- “A coach” in this context is anyone coaching a designed Race Team RVA program; “an athlete” is anyone participating in any coached session with Race Team RVA or receiving personal coaching from any of its coaches related to the programs sponsored by the Race Team RVA.
- The athlete-coach relationship is a two-way relationship where the athlete’s well-being comes first. The core of the relationship is a mutual commitment by both the athlete and coach, to the sport in general and to athletics training in particular.
- Coaches and athletes agree that participating in, or continuing a training session, is a decision that can only be made each individual athlete; coaches will not exert undue pressure on athletes, beyond reasonable encouragement. Bullying, use of critical language and sarcasm, or otherwise undermining any athlete’s self-esteem are totally unacceptable. You should show respect for fellow club members at all times.
- As a club member, you should show respect and appreciation for the volunteers who give their time to help the club and/or event(s) sponsored by the Club.
- Never yell, taunt, or threaten physical violence upon another member of the club, a volunteer or event spectator.
- Never use abusive or vulgar language, or make racial, ethnic or gender-related slurs or derogatory comments at club events.
- Never make unwanted sexual or physical contact with other members.
- Always report violations of the Member Code of Conduct policy to the club President.
- Coaches will treat everyone whom they are coaching or who is participating in a coached session with equal dignity and respect, irrespective of their ability, gender, age, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or political persuasion.
- Athletes and coaches will treat each other with mutual trust and respect.
- The coach may collect a great deal of personal information about an athlete in order to help her/him achieve her/his goals. The coach and athlete must reach agreement on what will be considered confidential and the coach must respect that agreement.
Roles and Responsibilities
The coach will:
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, regardless of background or ability;
- Place the welfare and safety of the athlete above the development of performance;
- Challenge inappropriate behavior or language by others;
- Never put themselves in a position where exploitation or abuse of vulnerable athletes could occur or could have been thought to have occurred;
- Ensure that they are properly qualified for activities that they coach and maintain their education and understanding of our sport;
- Whilst in a coaching role, strictly observe a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with athletes;
- Not promote any products or services for which the coach will personally benefit from without written permission from the President of the club, and if approved, the coach should be transparent to the athlete, providing full disclosure of the potential conflict regarding any products or services they would benefit from;
- Never try to recruit, either covertly or overtly, athletes who are already receiving coaching from other organizations;
- Turn up in good time for each session and/or assure that there is adequate cover for each session provided, or adequate notice of cancellation;
- In advance, clarify the content and purpose of a particular session;
- Lead sessions with enthusiasm and to the best of their abilities, consistently promoting the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. health and social benefits and fair play) and never condoning rule violations or use of prohibited or harmful substances, such as tobacco, narcotics and performance-enhancing drugs;
- Act as a good role model by consistently displaying good standards of behavior, appearance and safe training practice in their own training;
- Always ask the athlete’s permission and explain the reason why before touching the athlete;
- Co-operate fully with other colleagues (e.g. other coaches, officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, governing bodies) in the best interests of the athlete;
- Listen and be sensitive to athletes’ concerns and make them a primary concern when prescribing the training session;
- Make clear the limits of their commitment, and any reasons why they may refuse to coach any particular athlete;
- Invite and listen to feedback from the athletes they are coaching;
- Recognize and accept when it is in the athlete’s interest to refer athletes to other, more qualified coaches or other specialists for advice; and
- Report any suspected misconduct by other coaches to the Club President or Head Coach.
The athlete will:
- Accept responsibility for their own behavior and performance in training and in competition;
- Treat others with fairness and respect, showing patience with others and respecting diversity;
- Act in a dignified manner and not bring the sport or the club into disrepute;
- Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behavior including behavior that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical or sexual abuse;
- Participate in sessions with enthusiasm and to the best of their abilities;
- Inform their coach of any other coaching they are receiving specific to running;
- Follow the coaches’ instructions, including taking responsibility for reading the briefings and risk assessment for the session;
- Turn up in good time for the start of the session with suitable footwear and gear, and with adequate arrangements for post-training re-hydration and nutrition made;
- Let the coach know of any factors liable to have an impact on their ability to train or compete or their long-term health (e.g. wellness or health issues, medication, injury, illness, impending or recent competition, work or home pressures);
- Strictly observe a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with the coach(es) while in an athletic role;
- If junior, notify a responsible adult if you have to go somewhere (why, where and when you will return);
- Avoid destructive behavior and leave athletics venues as you find them;
- Challenge anyone whose behavior falls below these standards;
- Report any suspected misconduct by other coaches to the Club President or Head Coach;
- Give feedback to the coach on how the session felt for them and whether there are any consequential problems;
- Take personal responsibility for warming up before the session and cooling down including stretching after the session;
- Show appreciation to those throughout the club who help them participate in athletics, including the coaches;
- Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances;
- Never place undue pressure on children to perform, participate or compete;
Additionally, parents or guardians will:
- Ensure that your child does not take any unnecessary valuable items to training or competition;
- Inform your child’s coach of any illness or disability that needs to be taken into consideration for athletic performance;
- Provide any necessary medication that your child needs;
- Assume responsibility for safe transportation of your child to and from training and competition;
- Report any concerns you have about your child’s or any other child’s welfare to the Club President or Head Coach (this does not affect your right to contact your local social services or the police if you feel it is necessary);
Violation of the Code
Coaches or athletes wishing to allege breaches of the code should in the first instance contact the Club President or Head Coach.