Coach’s Bill of Rights

  1. Coaches have the right to feel safe. At no time should a coach feel that their safety is at risk.
  2. Coaches have the right to be treated respectfully. Coaches should be approachable and open to communication with parents, but they are not obligated to tolerate belligerent or abusive treatment. When emotions are running high, it is best to simply walk away and table the conversation for a later time when cooler heads will prevail. Under no circumstances should a parent approach a coach with a concern or complaint in front of the players.
  3. Coaches have the right to expect commitment from their players. While family, school, and other obligations sometimes interfere with a player’s ability to attend every practice and game, chronic absenteeism is disruptive to the team and should be avoided or at least discussed with the coach in advance.
  4. Coaches have the right to a life outside of hockey. Coaches are not obligated to respond immediately to every text, phone call, and email they receive from parents. They have the right to advance notice if a parent wishes to discuss a specific issue with them, and parents should not ambush a coach at the rink. Coaches should inform parents of their availability and preferred mode of communication, and they have the right to expect parents to respect their wishes.
  5. Coaches have the right to excuse a player from the ice or bench if they are unable to behave appropriately. Staff members are responsible for the safety and development of all the players, and coaches may remove a player who is being disruptive or creating an unsafe situation.
  6. Coaches have the right to know any information that may affect their ability to coach a player effectively. Parents have the right to maintain their child’s privacy, but they should weigh their desire for confidentiality and their fear of stigma against the likelihood that their child has a much better chance of success if the coach is well-informed about any unique circumstances including special needs, medical issues, or family stress.
  7. Coaches have the right to receive support from parents. Parents will not agree with every decision, and coaches must be open to receiving respectful and constructive feedback from parents. However, parents should understand that while their job is to parent their own child, the coach has an equal obligation to every player on the team. Parents should try to put themselves in the coaches’ place, acknowledge how difficult their job is, and appreciate the time and effort they spend on the team.
  8. Coaches have the right to autonomy. As long as they observe the guidelines set by their club, league, and governing bodies, coaches should be able to make their own decisions regarding practice planning, scheduling, and game strategy. Coaches should be treated as professionals, and their experience, knowledge, and willingness to offer their time to the players should be respected.
  9. Coaches have the right to receive support from administrators and leadership. If a coach encounters a problem that they cannot resolve on their own, they should seek and receive help from the appropriate personnel at the club, league, or District level.
  10. Coaches have the right to receive training. Coaches should have access to formal or informal training opportunities that will help them achieve success. They should also have access to a mentor to help them successfully navigate difficult situations.