It is important that an athlete “respect” their coach (teammates, staff and volunteers), but sometimes, they act in ways that can be harmful and hurtful to young athletes.
It is important for every athlete to understand what is unacceptable behavior and when to reach out to an adult to ask for help and guidance.
Following is a Safe4Athletes Model Policy, a document that every sports club should adopt and give to every athlete parent. See the 4 Clubs section of this web site for model policy and other documents.
A: When an adult or another athlete who is bigger, stronger, older, or in a position of power tries to make an athlete do something wrong, directs verbal taunts at the athlete to make the athlete feel worthless, makes fun of the athlete in order to embarrass him or her or make the athlete feel bad. Bullying is also when someone yells at an athlete in a disrespectful or belittling way, calls an athlete names, uses profanity in addressing an athlete or physically tries to intimidate the athlete by pushing, shoving, punching, pinching or hurting him or her in any way. Bullying may also involve saying things via text messaging, using email or other forms of social media to make the athlete feel like he or she is a bad person or is an effort to encourage others to dislike the athlete.
The American Association of University Women released survey results revealing that during the 2010-11 school year, 48 percent of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment in person or electronically via texting, email and social media. The survey asked 1,002 girls and 963 boys from public and private schools nationwide whether they had experienced any of various forms of sexual harassment including unwelcome sexual comments, being called gay or lesbian in a negative way, being touched in an unwelcome sexual way, being shown sexual pictures they didn't want to see, and being the subject of unwelcome sexual rumors. 56 percent of the girls and 40 percent of the boys said they had experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment during the school year.