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Coach Code of Conduct

Special Olympics is committed to the highest ideals of sport and expects all coaches to act in a manner that both contributes to the overall mission of Special Olympics and follows Special Olympics Virginia policies. All Special Olympics Coaches agree to observe the following code of conduct:

Respect for others

  • I will respect the rights, dignity and worth of athletes, coaches, other volunteers, friends and spectators in Special Olympics.
  • I will treat everyone equally regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
  • I will be a positive role model for the athletes I coach.
  • I will respect the property of hotels, dormitories, athletic facilities and dining facilities.

Ensure a positive experience

  • I will ensure that the time spent with Special Olympics is a positive experience for each athlete I coach.
  • I will respect the talent, developmental stage and goals of each athlete.
  • I will ensure each athlete competes in events that challenge that athlete’s potential and are appropriate to that athlete’s ability.
  • I will be fair, considerate and honest with athletes and communicate with athletes using simple, clear language.
  • I will ensure that accurate scores are provided for entry of an athlete into any event.
  • I will instruct each athlete to perform to the best of the athlete’s ability at all preliminary competitions and final competition in accordance with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules.
  • I will ensure that athletes are properly attired.

Act professionally and take responsibilities for my actions

  • I will provide for the general welfare, health and safety of all Special Olympics athletes in my charge during the course of my assigned duties.
  • My language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation will demonstrate high standards.
  • I will display control, respect, dignity and professionalism to all involved in the sport (athletes, coaches, opponents, officials, administrators, parents, spectators, media, staff, etc.).
  • I will encourage athletes to demonstrate the same qualities as above.
  • I will not smoke or chew tobacco at any Special Olympics training or competition site except in designated areas.
  • I will not drink alcohol or take illegal drugs while representing Special Olympics at training sessions or during competitions.
  • I will refrain from any form of personal abuse towards athletes and others, including inappropriate or unwanted sexual advances on others, verbal, physical and emotional abuse.
  • I will be alert to any form of abuse from other sources directed toward athletes in my care.
  • I will abide by the Special Olympics policy on the prohibition of coaches dating athletes.
  • I will not engage in sexual activities during any Special Olympics training or at competitions.

Quality service to the athletes

  • I will seek continual improvement through performance evaluation and ongoing coach education.
  • I will be knowledgeable about the sports rules and skills of the sport(s) I coach.
  • I will provide a planned training program.
  • I will keep copies of the medical, training, and competition records for each athlete I coach.
  • I will follow the Special Olympics, International Federation and National Federation/Governing Body rules for my sport(s).
  • I will be a positive role model for the athletes in the program.

Health and safety of the athletes

  • I will ensure that the equipment and facilities used are safe.
  • I will ensure that the sport equipment, training plans and the environment are appropriate for the age and ability of the athletes.
  • I will review each athlete’s medical form and be aware of any limitations on that athlete’s participation noted on that form.
  • I will encourage athletes to seek medical advice when required.
  • I will maintain the same interest and support towards sick and injured athletes as healthy athletes.
  • I will allow further participation in training and competition after an illness or injury only when appropriate.
  • I will report any emergencies to the appropriate authorities after first taking immediate action to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
  • I will ensure that prescribed medications and over-the-counter medications are taken at the proper times according to instructions given by the parent/guardian.