Basingstoke Sports Council

Serving Basingstoke's sporting community for over 25 years.

Code of Conduct & Principles

Coaching Code of Conduct

Coaches play a crucial role in the development of any sport and in the lives of the athletes they coach. Good coaches ensure that individuals in sport have positive experiences and are therefore more likely to continue in their sport and achieve their potential.

Coaching, as an emerging profession, must demonstrate at all levels a high degree of honesty, integrity and competence. The need for coaches to understand and act on their responsibilities is of critical importance to sport, as is the need to protect the key concept of participation for fun and enjoyment as well as achievement. This is implicit within good coaching practice and promotes a professional image of the good practitioner. This code of conduct defines all that is best in good coaching practice

Coaches must respect and champion the rights of every individual to participate in sport

Coaches must develop a relationship with athletes (and others) based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect

Responsibilities & personal standards
Coaches must demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times

Responsibilities professional standards

To maximise benefits and minimise the risks to athletes, coaches must attain a high level of competence through qualifications and a commitment to ongoing training that ensures safe and correct practice

Principles of Coaching

What is Coaching ?
In it's broadest context, sports coaching is about helping people to be better as people and sports performers at whatever level. Coaching is about creating and managing an environment in which individuals are motivated to maintain and improve performance. Coaching is both an art and science.


How important is the Coach ?
There is no doubt that sport has a central place in society. It can provide young people with positive experinces and opportunties through which they can gain enjoyment, maintain health, develop fitness and achieve sucess.There is a strong case that the value of sport to young people is determined by the quality of leadership and the role model provided by the coach. Sport can be, and still is, a powerful and positive influence on people and society, but only in the hands of responsible, informed dedicated and talented sports coaches. There now appears to be growing recognition of the importance of the coach at local as well as national levels.


Who needs coaches ?
Quality coaches are needed to ensure that the quality of sport experienced by people at every level from foundation through to excellence and world class performance. They work with not just with elite performers, but with everyone - of all ages, both able-bodied and those with a disability, men and women, those from a variety of backgrounds and participants of all standards. Every participant should have access to qualified and quality coaches.


Coaching in foundation and participation
Coaches are one of the most important and often under-rated resources available for the development of sport. Coaches are crucial to effective sports development and highly influential at a local level in: ensuring sport is introduced to youngsters in a safe, fun and effective way; encouraging early enjoyment and success; laying the foundation for future sports participation at recreational or competitive levels; bringing young disabled people into sport, where greater barriers may face them than other children.Coaches also assist with providing quality recreational opportunities at the participation level which should encourage active participation and a healthy lifestyle as well as an induction into fair play and sportsmanship. In addition, coaching should also provide an opportunity for those participants who so wish to develop their sporting performance and potential. The ultimate level of performance should be restricted only by their own ability and the extent of their interest.


Coaching in performance and excellence
Quality coaching is the catalyst to the development of performance and excellence. It is recognised that coaches identify talent and nurture performance in those with the desire to improve and compete at national or international levels. Coaches also cultivate excellence for those with the potential and desire to be the best around. However, there are increasing demands on coaches and they cannot achieve this without the support and input of a range of experts. In the UK, there is now a growing quest for excellence and world class performance and there are increasing pressures on coaches to be successful on the international stage. This will inevitably challenge many existing practices within British Sport.


Coaching matters more than ever
The role of coaches may change as they move from participation to performance and excellence. This is typically characterised by a move away from intensive hands-on teaching roles, involving a high degree of intervention, towards a more hands-off mentoring type role in which they manage the overall training and competition programmes and adopt inter-disciplinary and innovative approaches to athlete/team preparation, decision making and problem solving. The development of suitably educated and enlightened coaches working within a sustainable and effective coaching structure is essential at every level.There is a need to create a climate in which coaches are encouraged to seek professional development at whatever level they operate. This demands an innovative and flexible programme of service which employ appropriate technology and support plus caters for the diverse needs and learning styles of every coach in every sport.

The role of the Coach 

The role of the coach is to:

identify individual talents and needs

  • encourage and help the development of skills through guided practice
  • set tasks which are increasingly challenging to match improvements in knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • create an environment in which individuals are motivated to maintain participation and improve performance

If the coaching is effective, the person being coached:

  • becomes more skilful
  • develops greater awareness and understanding and understanding of the sport
  • becomes more confident and self reliant
  • is better able to deal with success and failure
  • becomes an active learner, able to learn naturally from experience and better able to cope with change

Who is this coaching superstar ?

It appears that the coach is expected to be:

  • an instructor transferring knowledge and directing activities and practices
  • a teacher imparting new knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • a trainer developing efficiency and consistency through routine
  • a motivator generating a positive approach by inspiring, infecting with enthusiasm and creating a climate for improvement
  • a disciplinarian controlling a system of reward and punishment
  • an administrator planning and organising
  • a publicity agent generating and sustaining positive images to outsiders
  • a social worker counselling and advising
  • a friend caring, supporting and sustaining
  • a scientist analysing, evaluating, problem solving and researching
  • a student listening and learning, seeking new information
  • a guardian protecting and guiding

What nonsense. What arrogance to assume that one person can adequately fulfil all these roles at the necessary level of competence.At the higher levels of performance sport the days of the all seeing, all knowing coaching guru are gone forever.

Top performers increasingly need a quality support team to fully develop their potential, not just one person who used to be a fair sportsman years ago. Quality performance is a complex jigsaw of talent, technique, skill, tactical knowledge, good decision making, physical fitness, concentration, commitment, anxiety control, sound planning and preparation, modern technology and enormous self-belief.

Coaching practice must adopt a multi disciplinary approach encompassing skill acquisition, psychology, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, sports medicine technology, pedagogy and people skills. It is impossible for one person to deliver all the above so modern clubs must try to build the skills within their own team of coaches.

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