Establish Eligibility Requirements for Adults Volunteers and Staff Members
Establish the Number of Staff/Volunteers Needed to Function Effectively
Establish and Execute a Plan for Keeping Positions Filled
- Implement background checks for all those over the age of 18 who are working with youth.
- Develop a good working relationship with the local police department. Many times, they can offer information.
- Develop an application process for volunteers, as you would for staff members.
- Be particular in who you want working with the children. A good athlete does not necessarily equate to someone who understands child development or knows how to work with youth.
- Ask for references.
- Meet everyone in-person before they meet the kids.
- Have a list of expectations, making sure they understand your goals, philosophies, and rules.
Example: Volunteer Coach Expectations
Equipment: I will promptly pick-up, return, and account for all equipment and uniforms borrowed/used from Waseca Community Education (WCE). I will not copy keys or loan my keys to anyone other than an assistant coach. I will not purchase equipment for WCE or use equipment that does not belong to me without prior approval from WCE.
Communication: I will communicate clearly with players, parents, and WCE throughout the season regarding schedules, practices, tournaments, make-up dates, changes, etc. in a timely manner; including, the letter provided to me in the beginning.
Field Schedules and Changes: I will contact WCE, players, umpires, and opposing teams three days in advance of any make-up games or schedule changes.
Uniforms: I will ensure that my players wear appropriate uniforms which include jerseys provided by the team sponsor. As well as, protective gear when catching (including warming up a pitcher), hitting, running bases, and coaching bases.
Tournaments: I will only register teams for tournaments approved by WCE and/or Waseca Youth Baseball Association (WYBA) or Waseca Fast Pitch Association (WFPA).
Fundraising: I will not do any fundraising without prior approval from WCE and WYBA or WFPA.
Substances: I will not provide nor encourage use of any nutritional supplements or medication (including aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) to my players. I will ensure that water is available to players.
Conduct: I will act appropriately and in a sportsmanlike manner during all games and practices. I will be respectful to the umpires, parents, players, and others. I understand that being kicked out or removed from a game could result in being relieved of any further coaching duties. I will not use profanity. I will abide by league and state rules. I will under no circumstances cheat or lie. I will represent Waseca in a sportsmanlike manner.
Players: I will treat all players with respect regardless of their ability. I will follow playing time guidelines appropriate to the age I am coaching. I will provide players with positive comments as well as constructive criticism. I will not belittle players when they make a mistake but teach them in a one-on-one situation after an error.
Code of Ethics: I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my players ahead of a personal desire to win. I will treat each player as an individual, remembering the large range of emotional and physical development for the same age group. I will do my best to provide a safe playing situation for my players. I will promise to review and practice first aid principles needed to treat injuries of my players. I will do my best to organize practices that are fun and challenging for all my players. I will lead by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all of my players. I will provide a sports environment for my team that is free of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all youth sports events. I will be knowledgeable in the rules of each sport that I coach, and I will teach these rules to my players. I will use those coaching techniques appropriate for each of the skills that I teach. I will remember that I am a youth sports coach, and that the game is for the children and not the adults.
I have read the guidelines listed above and promise to abide by these guidelines set forth.
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2. Establish the Number of Staff/Volunteers Needed to Function Effectively
- In team situations, designate one coach as the head coach and no more than two assistants that will be present during the games. This will help give clear messages to the athletes.
- During practices, invite other volunteers to assist with drills and stations. The smaller the player coach ratio, the more skills that can be developed effectively.
- In individual sports (i.e. gymnastics) there may be a need for a smaller player to coach ratio for safety purposes.
- Consult with the sport’s governing bodies for specific ratio recommendations.
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3. Establish and Execute a Plan for Keeping Positions Filled
- Provide the support and tools that your coaches need:
- 1. Handbook that includes drills and sport specific rules.
- Use a mentoring-type of program so that assistant coaches will be able to step into a head coaching position the following year.
2. Train them. Let them know what to expect and how to handle situations that may arise.
3. Support coaches’ decisions or provide constructive criticism.
4. Communicate with them on a regular basis (i.e. weekly updates and check-ins)
5. Appreciate the time and effort they are putting forth to hep your program and let them know they are appreciated