Best Practice Guidelines for Coaches
In keeping children and young people at the forefront of planning and practice, our coaches can be confident that participants will enjoy their football experiences and that their actions are regarded as safe and in keeping with the principle that the safety and welfare of children is of paramount consideration.
Our Coaches are given a position of trust by parents/guardians and players, and are expected to operate to the highest standards of behaviour whilst in the company of under age players (under 18years). Our coaches are also expected not to engage in any activity that could reasonably be viewed as bringing the club or soccer in general into disrepute.
It is important to for our coaches to note that in adhering to these guidelines ensures not only a safe environment for children but also a safe environment in which coaches and volunteers can operate.
Most coaches work in an environment where it is recognised that, in a sporting context, certain types of coaching require a ‘hands on approach’, i.e., it may be necessary to support a participant in order to physically demonstrate a particular technique. This should only occur when necessary and in an open and appropriate way with the knowledge, permission and full understanding of the participant concerned and his/her parents/guardians.
Coaches must realise that certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted, not only by the player, but by outsiders motivated by jealousy, dislike or mistrust and could lead to allegations of sexual misconduct or impropriety. Therefore coaches should be aware of, and avoid all situations conducive to risk.
Where possible, our coaches/volunteers should avoid:
Spending excessive amounts of time with children away from others.
Taking sessions alone (always employ “Two Deep” supervision).
Taking children to their homes.
Taking children on journeys alone in their care.
Our Coaches/volunteers should never:
• Exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.
• Share a room with a young person alone on away trips.
• Engage in rough physical games, sexually provocative games or allow or engage in Inappropriate touching of any kind, and/or make sexually suggestive comments about or to a child.
• Use any form of corporal punishment or physical force on a young person.
• Take measurements or engage in certain types of fitness testing without the presence of another adult and permission from the Committee.
• Undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of young people.
Safety guidelines for coaches
Coaches have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all players possible within the limits of their control. Therefore, coaches should seek to create a safe and enjoyable environment in which to play and train.
In this respect:
• Regular safety checks should be carried out in relation to premises, training facilities and equipment. Any problems should be brought to the attention of the Committee.
• Appropriate safety rules should be adopted and implemented and protective equipment should be used in any contact training session.
• Parents/guardians should be informed of the starting and finishing times of training sessions and matches.
• A first aid kit should be available at all training sessions /matches and injuries should be recorded, with a note of action taken in relation to each one.
• Parents/Guardians should be notified of injuries/illness which their children incur while participating in any football activity.
• Never play injured players.
• Ensure that the FAI Goalpost safety policy is strictly adhered