(English) This has a number of elements:

  • Teaching safely, using activities that are appropriate to the skill of the athletes, their understanding of the game and their physical capabilities;
  • Ensuring that the court is free from dangerous obstacles or hazards;
  • Creating an environment free of harassment - either between team mates or from someone external to the team.

Some strategies that a coach can use to provide a safe environment are:

  • Inspect the court before practice and games and remove any rubbish or obstacles.
  • If there is any water on the court, wipe it with a towel, and then check the area again to see if there is an ongoing leak. If there is an ongoing leak, the coach should alter activities so that players do not go near that area and mark the area (e.g. with cones).
  • Ideally, a court will have a least 1 metre clearance from the sidelines and any obstacle (e.g. grandstand or wall). If there is not this much clearance, then do not use the whole court in activities (e.g. treat the three-point line as a sideline)
  • If the court is dusty, see if it can be swept. Having a wet towel on the sideline that players can wipe their feet on
    can also help reduce the risk of players slipping over.
  • Choose activities based upon the level of experience and skill of the players, not just their age. In contested activities, consider grouping athletes of similar skill or similar physical size together.

A coach must treat all athletes with respect and should not belittle or demean the athletes. When correcting an athlete, the coach must do so in a positive manner – focusing on what the athlete needs to do. The coach should avoid sarcasm as it may be misunderstood by children.

Similarly, the coach should regulate how the players speak to each other and how they treat each other. Often a child that feels “bullied” will not
say anything to the coach about their feelings, but that does not mean it will not have a significant impact upon them.

Sometimes behaviour may be good natured and not intended to hurt, however, being teased for not being as good, or missing a shot (for example), can certainly hurt their feelings. The coach must lead by example and make it clear that such comments will not be tolerated.

Harassment is often subtle and can be as simple as players being critical of a teammate. The coach must make it clear that negative comments will not be tolerated, whether they are made at practice, away from practice (e.g. at school) or online.

Some players may not be offended or upset when a teammate criticises them. However, the coach must still address this behaviour, making it clear that it is unacceptable (even though no complaint was made). If the coach does not act, then the culture of the team will be to accept the behaviour.