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Building a Positive Sporting Environment

Athletes pexels

The Importance of a Positive Sporting Environment

It doesn't matter which sport is played, it is vital that athletes of all ages and levels have a positive sports environment before, during and after their event so they can thrive.

Having this can have a direct and positive impact on teams and individual athletes, and can result in more fun, longevity in their chosen sport and even more wins. A positive sporting environment provides athletes with support, encourages connectivity and allows each athlete to feel safe.

 
Lead the cheer coach
Lead the cheer player
Lead the cheer parent

Tips for Coaches

  • Remember that players participate for fun and enjoyment and winning is only part of the fun.
  • Never ridicule or yell at a player for making a mistake or not winning
  • Praise effort and courage
  • Use appropriate language when addressing players and others involved with the game.
  • Be reasonable in your demands on players time, energy and enthusiasm
  • Operate within the rules and spirit of the game and teach your players to do the same
  • Ensure that the time players spend with you is a positive experience. All players are deserving of equal attention and opportunities
  • All players need and deserve equal playing time
  • Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate for the age and ability of players (modified games, scaling)
  • Always display control, respect and professionalism to all involved with the sport including opponents, referees, officials, coaches, administrators, parents and spectators. Encourage your players to do the same
  • Show concern and caution toward sick and injured players. Follow the advice of a doctor or physio when determining whether an injured player is ready to recommence training or competition
  • Obtain appropriate coaching qualifications and keep up to date with the latest coaching practises and the principles of growth and development of young players
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people involved in the game, regardless of their gender, ability or cultural background
  • Promote adherence to anti-doping policies
  • Where appropriate adhere to the Balance is Better principles.

Tips for Players

  • Always play by the rules
  • Never argue with an official. If you disagree with a decision inform the captain, coach or manager during the break or after the game
  • Always display control, respect and professionalism to all involved with the sport including opponents, referees, officials, coaches, administrators, parents and spectators
  • Work equally hard for yourself and your team
  • Be a good sport and applaud all good plays whether they are made by my team or the opposition
  • Treat all players in your sport as you would like to be treated
  • Co-operate with your coach, manager, team mates and opponents
  • Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat
  • Participate for your own enjoyment and benefit
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion
  • Thank the opposition and officials at the end of the game
  • Comply with anti-doping policies

Tips for Parents

  • Encourage your child to play within the rules and respect coaches and officials decision
  • Teach your child to respect the efforts of their opponents
  • Remember that children learn by example so applaud good plays/performances by both your child’s team and their opponents
  • Give positive comments that motivate and encourage continued effort
  • Support your child’s efforts and performance
  • Praise effort and courage
  • Thank the coaches, officials and other volunteers who give their time to conduct the event for your child
  • Help when asked by a coach or official
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people involved in the game, regardless of their gender, ability or cultural background
  • Praise and support your child’s effort and performance rather than winning or losing
  • Support the coach in performing his or her role
  • Give positive comments that motivate and encourage continued effort
  • Cheer for your child and the team
  • Show respect for the opposition and the officials
  • Thank officials and encourage others to do the same
  • Encourage commitment, teamwork, respect and punctuality
  • Provide unconditional love during both successes and failures
  • Have realistic expectations for your child’ success in sport
  • Have your child play for their reasons and not yours
  • Allow your child to think for themselves
  • Remain calm and composed during games
  • Ensure your children have fun and balance in their family life
  • Develop an understanding of the principles of Balance is Better.
 
Lead the cheer official
Lead the Cheer logo
Lead the cheer kids

Tips for Officials

  • Place the safety and welfare of players above all else
  • Show concern and caution towards sick and injured players
  • Be impartial, consistent, objective and courteous when making decisions
  • Promote fair play and respect for the individuality of players
  • Avoid any situations which may lead to or be construed as a conflict of interest
  • Be a positive role model in behaviour and ensure your comments are positive and supportive
  • Always respect and support other officials
  • Keep up to date with the latest ‘Laws of the Game’, trends and principles of their application
  • Avoid conflict or confrontation with players, coaches, parents and spectators
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people involved in the game, regardless of their gender, ability or cultural background

Tips for preventing conflict

  • Prevention is always better than cure! If action is taken early in the game, conflict is less likely to occur.
  • Make competitors aware of your presence by reacting immediately to rule infringements (when appropriate).
  • Remain objective, no matter what prior knowledge of participants/teams you have.
  • Be definite and firm with decisions and communication.
  • Look sharp and act sharp – this will gain you respect as an official.
  • Don’t take criticisms personally. Remember that coaches and participants are seeing the game from a different perspective to the officials.
  • At the beginning of the competition provide structure and guidance, but also start a dialogue with the participants. Acknowledge the participants abilities and experiences, and invite constructive viewpoints from some participants.
  • Speak clearly and firmly in heated situations. This will indicate confidence in managing the situation.
  • If it starts to get a bit hot … keep cool.

Tips for resolving conflict

  • Be professional: Speak clearly and stay composed in heated situations. This demonstrates confidence in managing the situation. Avoid argument or debate, and don’t try to bluff through with unjustified rulings.
  • Remain calm: Don’t over-react. Stay relaxed and adopt a low-key posture/body language. Use objective, neutral language.
  • Address the problem – not the emotions: Try to put aside the emotions of all parties. Emotions inevitably inflame the situation. By dealing with the facts and the available evidence, the official is more likely to be seen as making a fair and appropriate decision.
  • Focus on the person: People are not objects, and they don’t like being treated as such. Acknowledge a participant with eye contact and use their name if possible. Recognise that they have something to say, and don’t just dismiss them.
  • Be fair: Avoid team or individual bias at all costs. Demonstrating integrity is one of the greatest assets of an official.
  • Understand that coaches can be passionate and sometimes overbearing. Listen beyond their tone of voice to hear and understand their underlying questions and concerns and remember to be polite in your response.
 

Tips for Administrators:

  • Create pathways for club members to participate not just as players but also as coaches, managers, referees, officials, administrators etc
  • Ensure that rules, equipment, length of games and training schedules are modified to suit the age, ability and maturity level of players
  • Ensure quality supervision and coaching for players
  • Remember that players participate for their enjoyment and benefit
  • Help coaches and officials highlight appropriate behaviour and skill development, and help improve the standards of coaching and officiating
  • Ensure that everyone involved in sport emphasises fair play
  • Distribute a code of conduct to players, coaches, officials and parents and encourage them to follow it
  • Use appropriate language when addressing players, coaches, officials, parents, club members, supporters and others involved in the games
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people involved in the game, regardless of their gender, ability or cultural background
  • Promote adherence to anti-doping policies
  • As a club administrator it is your responsibility to monitor the supply of alcohol to club members and visitors. Do not allow the unlawful supply of alcohol at training, games or club functions
 

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