Action Steps

Ideas For Athletic Directors
Make it clear to all coaches that they must ensure that the schools' athletic program emphasizes the importance and essential elements of the six core principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship.
Ensure that the athletic program enhances the academic, emotional, social, physical and ethical development of the student-athletes.
Demand scrupulous integrity and observe and enforce the spirit as well as the letter of the rule from all coaches, members of the athletic department and students-athletes.
Communicate to their student-athletes and parents that athletic participation is a privilege, not a right. To earn that privilege, student-athletes must abide by the rules and conduct themselves, on and off the field, as role models who exemplify good character.
Enforce with coaches, athletes, parents and spectators the district-approved codes of conducts for coaches, athletes, parents and spectators. If the district hasn't adopted such codes, urge that this be done.
Emphasize in all communications directed to student-athletes and parents the importance of character, ethics and sportsmanship.
Ensure the "message" that is communicated to all coaches, student-athletes, parents and the community is that the first priority of the student-athletes is a serious commitment to getting an education and developing the academic skills and character to succeed.
Ensure that the desire to achieve sport performance goals and the pressure to win is not placed above education, character development, academic, social, emotional, physical and ethical well-being of the student-athlete. Athletic Directors shall not allow any staff member to compromise the school or the character development, and ethical well being of the student-athletes in order to win.
Plan pre-season meetings for coaches, parents and students wherein the school's educational philosophy and expectations regarding athletics, academics, character, ethics and sportsmanship are communicated clearly to all.
Demand brief, pre-game, meetings with team captains, coaches and officials wherein playing with honor is the message and its clear that taunting and trash-talking are not to be tolerated.
Ensure that all coaches, whether paid or voluntary, gain the skills to be a competent coach. These minimum competencies must include basic knowledge of 1) the character-building aspects of sports, including techniques and methods of teaching and reinforcing the core values comprising sportsmanship and good character; 2) the physical capacities and limitations of the age group coached, as well as first aid; and 3) coaching principles related to educational philosophy, adolescent psychology, nutrition, risk management and the rules and strategies of the sport.
Ensure that coaches and all members of the athletic department model respectful behavior and demand that their athletes refrain from disrespectful conduct, including verbal abuse of opponents and officials, profane and belligerent trash-talking, taunting and inappropriate celebrations.
Safeguard the integrity of the athletic program by continually monitoring to ensure that no undue interference or influence of commercial interest or inappropriate exploitation of the school name or reputation. This should include avoiding undue financial dependency on particular companies or sponsors.
Always remember that the profession of coaching is a profession of teaching. Ensure that in addition to teaching the mental and physical dimensions of their sport, coaches shall through words and examples; strive to build character of their student-athletes by teaching them to be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and good citizens.