Netball should be fun, safe, and include everyone
As an England Netball Coach you are in a unique position to safeguard young people and adults at risk (those with care and support needs).
In particular you are the person who determines whether players keep coming back, whether they enjoy the sport, how they relay their experience to friends, family and loved ones. And you have the power to empower, build confidence and grow individuals and teams.
We hope this page helps you to avoid upsetting, disappointing, harming or abusing those who trust you.
As a minimum, to coach children you should have the following:
Once those are in place you could consider the following:
Involving parents and carers
Coaches should work with parents and carers to help them support their children and keep them safe. Some ideas here on how to do this. Encouraging Parents to be Part of the Team – UK Coaching and Communicating with Parents – UK Coaching.
Parents should be encouraged to ask questions and to contribute ideas to the club. Your club should have clear expectations of parents’ behaviour towards players and coaches during matches. This page has some more ideas on. How to improve parental involvement in your club: recommendations for coaches | CPSU (thecpsu.org.uk). Click here for Codes of Conduct
This page has advice for parents involved in netball. England Netball | I’m a netball Parent or Carer
Involving children/young people and adults at risk
Safeguarding should be a subject that children, young people and adults at risk are familiar with – not just who the Safeguarding Officer is, but where to find out more information. Young people and adults at risk should be consulted with and listened to. You could consider regularly seeking feedback during training session, 1:1 chats or surveys about your coaching style, competitions, team management etc. See here for more ideas:
Players should be encouraged to ask questions and to contribute ideas to the club. There should also be clear expectations of players’ behaviour.
Creating the right environment or culture
As a coach, you are in a position of power: deciding who is in the team and who isn’t. You contribute to club success, player enjoyment and safety. With power comes responsibility. Good coaches understand that they work in collaboration with clubs, parents, players, children and volunteers. They understand that all those people are all in a bystander position. Coaches should encourage people to call out, challenge and intervene, not create a permissive environment/false consensus.
When things go wrong it is sometimes because the coach is too powerful; for fear of deselection, negative treatment or perceived as failing, people do not feel free to speak out or to question poor practice.
More ideas and guidance via the links below:
- CIMSPA ‘Professional Standard- Working with Children’ CIMSPA-ps-working-with-children
- Play Their Way – www.playtheirway.org
- Details of a workshop for 10-25 people Learning Disability and Sport Workshop | Mencap
- Safeguarding talented and elite athletes | CPSU
- Paul Stewart – Podcast – Creating safer cultures in sport | CPSU
- Or the wrong culture? Mary Cain’s story – Alberto Salazar –I Was the Fastest Girl in America – YouTube,
Guidance on the following is available via the document links at the bottom of this page:
- recognising, responding to and preventing abuse and poor practice
- some typical case examples and what to do
- adult to child ratios
- extreme weather
- codes of conduct
- for all other policies and guidance documents click here: England Netball | Safeguarding Policies and Guidance
- Coaches' safeguarding