Below is a reminder of best practice when entering into a relationship with a coach. Documentation, such a contract, always gives everyone a starting point from which to proceed. The below excerpt and may other excerpts, in regards to our skating world, can be found at info.skatecanada.ca available to all and on the Skate Canada Members site, for everyone with a current membership.
Ethical expectations for various relationships:
Coach and skater relationships
- Guide and assist skaters in determining realistic goals and objectives in the sport. Avoid making promises or giving guarantees to a skater/team regarding an assessment or competitive achievement.
- Always maintain the best interests of the skater/team. Place the emotional and physical well-being of the skater/team ahead of a personal desire to win.
- Respect the influence that a coach can have on a skater/team and never abuse this trust or position of power.
- Coaches must consider their protection in coach and skater relationships (Responsible Coaching Movement). Be mindful of social media connection and interaction outside of the arena.
Coach and parent/guardian relationships
- Establish a coaching contract or agreement with your skaters’ parent/guardian in writing.
- Clearly outline your available coaching services including fees (coaching, assessment, music, competitions, travel/mileage, etc.) and method of payment accepted prior to providing any services as agreed or contracted by the parent/guardian (preferably in written form)
- Work with the parent/guardian and provide information to allow them to make an informed decision about a realistic and affordable course of action for their skater’s development.
- Issue invoices in a professional manner:
- Consistent frequency (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.)
- Indicate number of lessons, nature of lessons and fee for each
- Maintain business records of all lessons, invoices and payments
- Establish an effective and agreeable way to communicate
- Ensure to have parent/guardian permission before posting pictures of skaters to social media (personal, club or business).
- Involve the parent/guardian in decisions pertaining to their skater’s development.
- If in a team coaching environment, ensure the parent/guardian is aware and agrees with lessons from all coaching colleagues within the team.
- Respect the fact that a parent/guardian has the right to contract a new coach as a result of a coaching change.
Coach and club/skating school relationships
- Establish and negotiate coaching contracts in good faith and adhere to their terms.
- Be accountable for creating and maintaining a positive and safe skating environment
- Deliver all Skate Canada programs in adherence to the Skate Canada Requirements and Delivery Standards
- Respect the fact that you are contracted by a club or skating school for a specific time period as outlined in your contract/agreement.
- Respect the fact that clubs or skating schools may allow coaches on their ice to conduct professional business as it relates to skater/team development.
- Clubs and skating schools are encouraged to establish a procedure or process for parent education around acquiring coach lessons, as well as a place for coaches to promote their philosophies and qualifications. Processes must be fair to all eligible coaches and must be approved by club/skating school. Some strategies include:
- Providing space on a bulletin board, website, flyer
- Holding a coach information session
- Allowing skaters to “try out” coaches (have a lesson with each coach)
- Coach and other skating colleague relationships
- Create and maintain cooperative relationships with coaching colleagues for the purpose of ensuring a positive training environment for the skaters/teams
- Refrain from criticizing other coaches or officials (teaching methods, techniques, opinions, assessments etc).
- Respect the fact that a coach is responsible for the development of a skater/team from the moment that a parent/guardian contracts the services of that coach. Coaching dynamics may vary depending on the situation (base coach, discipline coaches, team of coaches). Only coaches involved should be in contact with the skater/team and parents/guardians.
- In “team coaching” situations all communication must be clear with precise guidelines or parameters for all coaching colleagues within the team.
- If a replacement coach is asked to work with a skater, the previously scheduled coach must outline a clear and precise lesson plan for the replacement coach to follow.
- Respect other coaches’ relationships with their skaters and parents/guardians
- If a coach acquires a skater as a result of a coaching change, the new coach must ensure that all outstanding payment is paid, or payment agreement is in place, to the previous coach(es) and or club(s) of that skater.
- Payment must be paid within reasonable satisfaction of the coach and or club.
- All payment should be paid prior to coaching a new skater.