There is a lot more to being a coach then knowing a sport. Some of the greatest youth coaches I have ever met either knew nothing about the sport they were coaching or very little about it when they needed to step up. They took the time to learn, asked others who had been doing it for awhile, researched it in books, whatever they had to do. In the end, it payed off. The video at the top of this page, Coach - by Kenny Chesney, is exactly what you... what every coach... should aspire to. Being a good coach is one thing, being a great coach takes work.


    What a lot of people don't know: Sometimes you are all they really have. Siblings are doing their own thing, parents always working, no friends to speak of, who else do these children have to turn to? This is why you need to get to know your kids as much as you can. If they are normally joking and laughing, but you notice they are more withdrawn and sullen, something has changed. It is times like these that a coach should let someone else take over, pull the child aside, and try to find out what is wrong. These kids are impressionable at the ages we have them, and a gesture of a coach trying to brighten their bad day may make the difference in their life. Don't get it wrong, you are there to be their coach and to teach them what they need to know. But the difference between a good coach and a great coach is recognizing the individuals that make up the entire group, not just the group itself.


    Just like every other sport, and we are firm believers that cheerleading is a sport, there is a right and wrong way of doing things. Don't be afraid to ask for help if something is not going the way it should. Coaches who have been around for years have learned techniques that really could help you. No matter what, never give up on a child. There are some children who are hard to coach. Their attention span goes everywhere, they are having a bad week, they may not really want to be there. This is why we have multiple coaches per squad. Some kids may need that extra attention to get them on the same track as the others. The key is to not make a big deal about them being a little behind the others. Take them and a couple of others aside and work with them on possible problem spots. They will eventually catch on, and you have not singled them out.

Coach Code of Conduct

    NYSCA Chapters hold their coaches to a higher standard and also have evaluation systems in place to ensure that members adhere to this Code and at all times act as a model youth coach.

    If you do not uphold this Code of Ethics you will be held accountable in accordance with the NYSCA Coach Accountability & Enforcement policies and can be restricted from coaching in any league that mandates NYSCA training.

So pay attention and let's review the NYSCA Coaches' Code of Ethics so that you are clear as to what you are agreeing to uphold!


  • I WILL PLACE THE EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING OF MY PLAYERS AHEAD OF A PERSONAL DESIRE TO WIN.

    What this means is using appropriate language in appropriate tones when interacting with your players, league officials, game officials, parents and spectators; treating all players, league officials, game officials, parents and spectators with dignity and respect; and playing all players according to the equal participation rules established by the league, as well as abiding by the spirit of those rules.


  • I WILL TREAT EACH PLAYER AS AN INDIVIDUAL, REMEMBERING THE LARGE RANGE OF EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT FOR THE SAME AGE GROUP.

    In other words, because of the many different types of children you'll be working with, it'll be important for you to recognize their differences and treat each player as an individual while demonstrating concern for their individual needs and well being; and you'll also want to encourage all players, regardless of skill level, to remain involved in sports.

    Along these same lines, it's important that you are aware that some physical tasks, drills and demands are not appropriate for all youth, regardless if they are close in age. And since youth often vary greatly in physical, social and emotional maturation, recognize these factors when setting up competitions and when interacting with them as a group.


  • I WILL DO MY BEST TO PROVIDE A SAFE PLAYING SITUATION FOR MY PLAYERS.

    So to ensure your team's safety at all times it's up to you to maintain a high level of awareness of potentially unsafe conditions including - but not limited to - dangerous weather, inadequate field maintenance, faulty equipment and any other general unsafe conditions.

    Maintaining that safe environment also includes protecting players from sexual molestation, assault, physical or emotional abuse and understanding appropriate means to report such instances when suspected, as well as making sure that all players are provided with adequate adult supervision while under your care.


  • I WILL PROMISE TO REVIEW AND PRACTICE THE BASIC FIRST AID PRINCIPLES NEEDED TO TREAT INJURIES OF MY PLAYERS.

    In order to fulfill your obligations in this area you must always have basic first aid supplies available and easily accessible during all your practices and games; be able to recognize and administer proper basic first aid to injured players as well as those who are unable to return to the activity due to the severity of their injury; and have genuine concern for any child's injury, which includes everything from notifying parents in a timely manner to cooperating with medical authorities during emergencies, among others.


  • I WILL DO MY BEST TO ORGANIZE PRACTICES THAT ARE FUN AND CHALLENGING FOR ALL MY PLAYERS.

    This simply means that since your practices are where you'll be doing the majority of your teaching that you must exercise great care in developing practice plans that are interesting, varied, productive and aimed at improving all players' skills and individual abilities.

    Along with that, you must devote appropriate time to the individual improvement of each player while conducting practices of reasonable length and intensity that are appropriate for the age and conditioning of the players.


  • I WILL LEAD BY EXAMPLE IN DEMONSTRATING FAIR PLAY AND SPORTSMANSHIP TO ALL MY PLAYERS.

    Because these are such important values that all youngsters must learn it'll be up to you to use the influential position you have as youth coach to consistently demonstrate, promote, teach and expect sportsmanship and fair play from your team while reinforcing that it is our basic moral code to treat others as we would like to be treated.

    This also means that during both victories and defeats you must be a model of good sportsmanship and demand the same from your players, and always abide by and support the rules of the game and league, as well as the spirit of the rules.


  • I WILL PROVIDE A SPORTS ENVIRONMENT FOR MY TEAM THAT IS FREE OF DRUGS, TOBACCO, AND ALCOHOL, AND I WILL REFRAIN FROM THEIR USE AT ALL YOUTH SPORTS RELATED EVENTS.

    As someone your players will look up to this means always being alcohol, tobacco and drug free at all team activities or in the presence of your team; encouraging team parents to join you in not using these products during any team-related activity; and never, under any circumstance, providing any type of alcohol, drug or tobacco products to any of your players.


  • I WILL BE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE RULES OF EACH SPORT THAT I COACH, AND I WILL TEACH THESE RULES TO MY PLAYERS.

    In other words, you are expected to become knowledgeable of all applicable game rules, league rules, regulations and policies, as well as fully understand them, support them, teach them and require compliance of these rules by all of your players.


  • I WILL USE COACHING TECHNIQUES THAT ARE APPROPRIATE FOR EACH OF THE SKILLS THAT I TEACH

    So when you are working with your players this means teaching techniques that do not enhance a risk of injury to a child or their opponents, discouraging illegal contact or intentional dangerous play and administering swift and equitable discipline to players involved in such activity.


  • I WILL REMEMBER THAT I AM A YOUTH SPORTS COACH, AND THAT THE GAME IS FOR CHILDREN AND NOT ADULTS.
Quite simply, this comes down to maintaining a positive, helpful and supportive attitude at all times;

Exercising your authority and influence as a coach to control the behavior of the fans and spectators;

Accepting and adhering to all league rules and policies related to the participation of adults and youth;

And placing the emphasis on fun and participation while encouraging children to do their best.