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Coaches can help create a positive sporting environment and reduce poor behaviour by being good role models. To do this they can:

Encourage fair play

  • Respect opponents, spectators and officials
  • Thank the officials and opposition after the game – teach your players to do the same. 

Uphold your club’s code of conduct

For coaches of junior sport, it’s also important to help kids enjoy sport

Paul Kennedy has a few tips for coaches:

  • Emphasise trying hard and having fun, not only winning. Use our Let Kids be Kids resources and videos to promote positive messages at junior sport. 
  • Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake.
  • Take a look at our Guidelines for working with children information sheet. This will help you with strategies to manage potential problem situations with young people. 
  • Communicate with parents - arrange a pre-season meeting to discuss expectations.

  • Always greet and welcome parents.

Respect officials

  • Accept decisions by officials – they are only human and can make mistakes.
  • Deal with any issues in a controlled and professional manner after the game.
  • Understand that yelling at officials, particularly verbal abuse, can have serious ramifications for your sport, not least on the harm it is doing to young players. Download our 7 Ways how yelling at officials is hurting children infographic and display it at your club. 

 7 ways how yelling at officials is hurting children


Rewarding effort in junior sport

  • One of the easiest, but often overlooked, things that encourage a positive sporting environment is to remember to reward effort, particularly in junior sport. Below Paul Kennedy gives us a timely reminder: