Code of Conduct for Volunteers, Coaches & Spectators
Gulf Coast Soccer is committed to being much more than simply “a place to play soccer”. Through soccer, our members learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and respect for themselves and others. As a condition of continued participation, all of our coaches, team managers, parents, and spectators agree to abide by the following Code of Conduct:
- I support a playing environment that is “family-friendly”. I will refrain from the use of tobacco products, alcohol, drugs, and profanity whenever I am in the presence of youth soccer players or their siblings.
- I respect that coaches take on a huge responsibility when they agree to lead a group of children. To help my child's coach with planning, I will communicate promptly, in advance, whenever my child will miss a practice or game. I will not coach my child or any other players from the sidelines unless I am one of the official coaches of the team. I will not undermine any coach's authority in front of any player, and I will wait at least 24 hours after any game before approaching a coach with any concerns I may have regarding that coach's management of a team. If I feel I can do a better job than the current coaches, I will volunteer to coach a team before the next season begins.
- I recognize that referees are essential to the game. I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of dissent or unsporting conduct toward any official. I will learn the Laws of the Game and the policies of the league, since knowing the rules will help with development and with minimizing disagreements. If I see that the club needs more (or better) referees, I will complete a referee training program and make myself available to work as a referee at the first opportunity.
- I understand that soccer is hard to play well and that it takes many years of practice to reach a high standard. If players never fail, then they never learn, so I will encourage my child to try new things and to accept that mistakes are part of the game for everyone. I realize that learning occurs in practices much more than in games, so I will ensure that my child is able to attend practices consistently. I also understand that players need to focus on different learning objectives at different stages of their development, and will support the coaches as they stay focused on long-term growth, even at the expense of short-term results.
- I embrace good sportsmanship. I will applaud good, positive play whenever it occurs, whether by the team I support or the opposition. I will not ridicule any participant (including my child or my child's coach) for making a mistake or for losing a competition.
- I accept that player safety is a shared responsibility. I will never encourage behavior that would endanger the health and well-being of any participant. I will be vigilant in monitoring the soccer facilities for any safety hazards (such as unsecured goals or unfilled holes) and will immediately act to resolve any such situations. I will communicate with my child's coach about any disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.
- I realize that children play soccer for their own reasons, which may not align with mine as an adult. Children play sports to have fun with their friends, to learn new skills, to be physically active, and to test themselves with appropriate competition. I will teach my child that hard work and honest effort are more important than winning any single game. I will support my child by encouraging him or her to pursue his or her own goals for each practice, game, and season. I will avoid all critical discussions of my child's performances during the car ride to or from a game unless my child asks for my feedback first (without prompting from me).
- I realize that as a fan, I represent Gulf Coast Soccer and the community it serves. I accept that poor behavior during practices or games may result in expulsion from the soccer facility, and that repeated incidents may result in expulsion for me and my family from the club.