Code of Ethics for Coaches
(as stated by the United States Olympic Committee)
The Ethics Code for Coaches is intended to provide standards of professional conduct. This code is intended to provide general principles to cover most situations encountered by coaches. Its primary goal is the welfare and protection of individuals and groups with whom coaches work. This Code provides a common set of values upon which coaches build their professional work. It is the individual responsibility of each coach to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct. Coaches respect and protect human and civil rights, and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.
Principle 1: Competence
Coaches recognize the boundaries of their particular competencies and the limitations of their expertise. They provide only those services and use only those techniques for which they are qualified by education, training, or experience.
Principle 2: Integrity
Coaches are honest, fair, and respectful of others.
Principle 3: Respect for Participants and Dignity
Coaches respect the fundamental rights, dignity, and worth of all those taking part in sport. Coaches are aware of cultural, individual, and role differences, including those of age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status.
Principle 4: Concern for Others’ Welfare
Coaches seek to contribute to the welfare of those with whom they interact. When conflicts occur, coaches attempt to resolve these conflicts and to perform their roles in a responsible fashion that avoids or minimizes harm.
Principle 5: Responsible Coaching
Coaches are aware of their responsibilities to the community and the society in which they work and live. They apply and make public their knowledge of sport in order to contribute to human welfare. Coaches try to avoid misuse of their work. Coaches comply with the law.
Applicability of the Ethics Code
While many aspects of personal behavior and private activities seem far removed from official duties of coaching, all coaches should be sensitive to their position as role models for their athletes. Private activities perceived as immoral or illegal can influence the coaching environment and coaches are encouraged to observe the Ethics Code consistently.