Coaches’ code of conduct

Coaching must demonstrate a high degree of honesty, integrity, and competence. The need for coaches to understand and act on their responsibilities is of critical importance to Rugby, as is the need to protect the key concept of participation for fun and enjoyment, as well as achievement.

The key principles relating to the interaction between coaches and players are:

  • Rights - you must respect and champion the right of every individual to participate in sport
  • Relationships - coaches must develop a relationship with the players based on openness, honesty, mutual trust, and respect
  • Responsibilities - personal standards - you, as a coach, must demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times
  • Responsibilities - professional standards - in order to maximise benefits and minimise the risks to players, coaches must attain a high level of competence through qualifications and a commitment to ongoing training that ensures safe, current, and correct practice
  • Winning isn't everything - teach your players to enjoy taking part and performing to the best of their ability. Encourage and enable each player to reach his or her fullest potential
  • Never abuse, shout at, criticise or ridicule children for making mistakes or losing a game. Do not cause a player to lose self-esteem by embarrassing, humiliating or undermining them
  • Motivate your players through praise, positive feedback, and constructive criticism
  • Be organised - establish a structure for the season, prepare a coaching plan for each session, have the appropriate kit. Above all, communicate to players, parents, and fellow coaches to set expectations
  • Make sure players develop an understanding of the Laws of the Game, that they respect opponents, team mates, coaches, and officials
  • Never question an official's judgement or honesty
  • Ensure players' and parents’ behaviour is appropriate and in keeping with the spirit of the game
  • Never enter the playing arena (the pitch) during a match unless specifically invited to do so by the match official.