Coaches Roles and Responsibilities
Coaching is not just about winning games. In fact, winning is a very small component to the job.
Successful coaches help athletes master new skills, enjoy competition with others, and help young athletes feel good about themselves. Successful coaches are not only well versed in the techniques and skills of their sport. They also understand how to effectively teach those skills through age appropriate exercises and drills. Most importantly however, successful coaches go far beyond teaching athletic techniques by teaching and modeling skills needed for successful living in our society.
Below is a list of major responsibilities and behaviors that all coaches MUST adhere to:
Act in Accordance with Catholic Character
Coaches are expected to model Christian sportsmanship knowing that the school is judged more by the coach’s sportsmanship than by their record. The coach must instill and guide the team members with a sense of fair play and model winning and losing in a respectful, courteous and gracious Christian manner.
Model Superior Sportsmanship, Humility, and Graciousness, both in Victory and Defeat
Coaches should never instruct or encourage student athletes to violate either the spirit or the letter of the rules of the sport or of the league. It is unacceptable for coaches to “run up” the score on inferior opponents. Coaches are expected to substitute players when the opposing team is significantly behind. Coaches must show respect for game officials and opponents at all times; publicly shaking hands with the officials and the opposing coach before and after a game gives clear witness to this respect. All coaches must refrain from public protest that may lead to similar behavior from students, parents or other spectators.
Properly Supervise Student-Athletes
Rarely, if ever, should athletes be left unsupervised. In the event of a serious emergency, the coach should attempt to get another adult to supervise the team. If this is not possible, athletes may have to be left alone for a reasonable period of time, providing that the athletes have been instructed on what to do in the coach’s absence. Clear expectations of behavior in emergency situations should be reviewed with the athletes. In addition, coaches must be physically and mentally present when supervising athletes. Being preoccupied, completing unrelated tasks, using cell phones, texting, or engaging in conversation with others does not allow adequate supervision.
Adhere to Professional Conduct
The coach is responsible for student conduct and behavior during practices and games. Under no circumstances should coaches tolerate words that demean other players (name-calling, taunting, etc.) Likewise, any action that is physically dangerous, for example deliberately trying to injure an opponent during a game, is absolutely prohibited. Coaches must strive to be fair and unbiased in their relationships with student athletes and their parents. Coaches must also strive to faithfully and fairly adhere to the guidelines for “playing time” for each student athlete, giving each athlete an appropriate opportunity to participate. It is expected that coaches emphasize the development of self-confidence, self-discipline and sportsmanship, and that they make team participation a learning experience for all.
Possess Basic Knowledge in Skills, Tactics, and Strategies
It is to be expected that coaches are knowledgeable of the rules of the sport and techniques for teaching the fundamentals of the sport. They should use tactics and strategies that are appropriate for the age and skill levels of their athletes. Winning takes secondary importance to the athletic, social, and emotional development of all those involved. Coaches should teach the rules of the sport and develop each player’s skills within the framework of a team concept.
Comply with Established Policies, Philosophies, and Procedures
All coaches must adhere to and support the local interscholastic athletic Mission and Philosophy Statements, as well as all local and league policies and guidelines. Coaches should attend various information meetings to become familiar with these prior to assuming coaching responsibilities. In addition, all coaches are expected to publicly support the school’s administration, athletic director, and/or athletic committee.
Understand Appropriate Disciplinary Procedures
Coaches must discipline inappropriate student behavior or disrespect. However, coaches should never resort to physical or verbal abuse or profanity. Every coach needs to understand the difference between punitive touching (physical discipline) and corrective touching (correcting an athlete’s hold on a ball or bat); one is prohibited while the other is not. Coaches should also take caution in how and when they make physical contact with an athlete so that the action is never misinterpreted in a sexual manner.
Coaches are prohibited from the following:
- To use inappropriate, abusive or vile language, or to engage student athletes in inappropriate conversations unrelated to the sport
- To berate and harass officials, opposing coaches, or personnel from other schools
- To undermine the authority of the School Administration, Athletic Director, and/or the Athletic Committee
- To deny adequate playing time to students who are cooperative in effort and attendance
- To give preferential treatment to the most gifted athletes
- To submit rosters that are not signed by the pastor and/or principal (or athletic director)
- To play students who are not on their regular school roster or to roster students on two school teams in the same sport
- To forfeit games without following local procedures