Agon Coaches Responsibilities and Requirements
The main responsibility of the Agon coaching staff is to help our athletes reach their full potential in the sport of swimming with a focus on long-term success. Relatedly, coaches are responsible for pursuing the stated mission and vision of the team.
Requirements of Coaches
Every Agon coach must be certified in the following areas by accepted accrediting organizations as set forth by USA Swimming:
- CPR & First Aid
- Coaches Safety Training
- Athlete Protection Training through USA Swimming
- Background check
All of the above requirements must be kept up to date for a swim coach to remain in good standing with Agon and USA Swimming. Additionally, all Agon coaches must adhere to an extensive code of conduct as outlined in Article 304 by USA Swimming.
USA Swimming Code of Conduct
To view USA Swimming’s Code of Conduct, click here.
Reporting of Misconduct
1. It is every member’s responsibility to promptly report any incident regarding sexual misconduct by a member as described in Article 304.3.8 to USA Swimming’s Director of Safe Sport (click here to go to appropriate USA Swimming page). Reporting must occur when an individual has firsthand knowledge of misconduct or where specific and credible information has been received from a victim or knowledgeable third party. Various state laws may also require reporting to law enforcement or to a designated child protection agency.
2. No member shall retaliate against any individual who has made a good faith report under 306.1.
3. False reporting of sexual misconduct made in bad faith is prohibited.
4. Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse.
Practice Group Assignment
The coaching staff is responsible for assigning swimmers to practice groups. They take into account a variety of factors with the aim of placing swimmers in the most appropriate group in order to best facilitate their development. Changes to the practice groups will generally be made at the end of the short course and long course seasons. In certain instances, group assignments may be modified during the year if the coaching staff decides it is in the best interest of the athlete.
Meet Selection and Participation
The coaching staff is responsible for selecting the meets the team will participate in. Participation in meets outside of those selected by the coaching staff, without specific permission from the head coach, is prohibited.
Electronic Communications Policy
Agon’s electronic communication policy is in place to limit risks involved when adults use these methods to communicate with minors. Our electronic communication policy outlines appropriate means and content for electronic communication between coaches and members of the team who are minors.
Athletes shall refer to members of the team who are minors. If the coach is a parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse to a particular athlete, that athlete shall be defined as family, as such, they are not restricted by the electronic communication policy for that athlete.
All communications between a coach and an athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct regarding Athlete Protection.
Facebook, Myspace, Blogs, and Similar Sites
Coaches may have personal Facebook (or other social media site) pages, but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of Agon join their personal page as a “friend.” A coach should not accept any “friend” request from an athlete. In addition, the coach should remind the athlete that this is not permitted. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “private message” each other through Facebook. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “instant message” each other through Facebook chat or other IM method.
Agon has an official Facebook page that athletes and their parents can “friend” for information and updates on team-related matters.
Coaches are encouraged to set their pages to “private” to prevent athletes from accessing the coach’s personal information.
Agon has an official Twitter page that coaches, athletes and parents can follow for information and updates on team-related matters. Coaches are not permitted to follow athletes on Twitter. Likewise, athletes are not permitted to follow coaches on Twitter. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “direct message” each other through Twitter.
Texting only shall be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities.
Coaches and athletes may use email to communicate provided that email communication from coach to an athlete is copied to one of the swimmer’s parents/guardians and/or the head coach.
Request to Discontinue All Electronic Communications
The parents or guardians of an athlete may request in writing that their child not be contacted by coaches through any form of electronic communication.
V. Further Information
Parents have an integral role in the success of their child in the sport of swimming by supporting the efforts of their child or children, but this support is different than those responsibilities of the Agon coaching staff. Parents can support their children by facilitating practice attendance, timely arrival to practice, and participation in swim meets.
Parent Code of Conduct
Parents of Agon swimmer are expected to abide by the following code of conduct:
1. Treat others with respect, including but not limited to, other Agon parents, swimmers, and coaches. This also applies to parents, swimmers, coaches, and officials from other teams.
2. Avoid public criticism of the team, swimmers, parents, coaches, or program. If you have critical feelings about a member of the team or an aspect of the team, speak with the head coach about it directly.
3. Let the coaches coach. As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is to provide them with unconditional love and support while leaving the coaching to the coaches. Remember the following roles:
Swimmers – swim
Coaches – coach
Officials – officiate
Parents – parent
4. To elaborate on the roles listed above, parents should not coach or instruct any swimmers at practice or meets.
5. During times of practice or meets, the coaches’ undivided attention needs to be on the swimmers. For this reason parents should not interfere with coaches on the pool deck at these times. Any communication with the coaching staff should occur prior to or at the conclusion of practice when the coach is available and no longer responsible for working with athletes. Major concerns or topics that require lengthy dialogue should be scheduled in advance.
6. Athletes attention at practice and meets should be on their performance and that of their teammates. Additionally, we expect athletes to take ownership of their swimming. For these reasons, parents should limit their interaction with their children during practice and meets.
7. At meets we are allowed one representative to communicate with meet officials. The head coach generally accepts this role. Therefore, if parents have questions or concerns regarding decisions made by meet officials, those should be directed to the head coach.
8. Verbal, emotional, or psychologically abusive actions directed towards coaches, officials, and/or swimmers is not permitted.
Membership with Agon constitutes acceptance of all team policies. Additionally, members are hereby notified that policies may be edited in the future and that it is the responsibility of members to stay up to date on the teams posted policies. Violation of team policies, or any behavior or act on the part of Agon members that brings discredit or discord to either Agon or USA Swimming may result in loss of membership with Agon. Finally, members are hereby notified that Agon maintains the right to terminate any membership with or without cause in the interest of its vision, mission, and/or objectives.
Athletes with Agon are expected to take personal responsibility for both their own athletic success and that of their teammates. This means each swimmer is expected to be supportive and encouraging to all teammates and contribute in a positive manner to the training and competition environments.
Swimmer Code of Conduct
Agon swimmers are expected to abide by the following code of conduct:
1. Support teammates at practice and at competitions. Any actions to impede the development or success of teammates will not be tolerated.
2. Treat teammates and coaches with respect.
3. Display a positive attitude at team practices and competitions.
4. Demonstrate support for your teammates by sitting with the team during competitions.
5. Behave in a dignified manner.
6. Understand that you are a representative of Agon and act in a way that reflects well on the team. This means that swimmers will leave areas they use in neat and clean condition including locker rooms, bleacher areas, pool decks, etc. of both our home pools, pools we visit for meets, or any other venues we frequent as a team.
7. Be honest with yourself and others.
8. Use of any illegal substances (performance enhancing or otherwise) such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco is unacceptable.
9. Illegal behaviors such as vandalism, destruction of property, or theft are unacceptable.
10. Bullying will not be tolerated and Agon policies regarding bullying have been outlined in a separate and specific policy document.
The athlete code of conduct is in effect at all Agon events, practices, and competitions. Violations of the athlete code of conduct may results in disciplinary action including but not limited to: reprimands, letters of apology, being sent home from practice, suspension from the team or competition, or expulsion from the team.
Our anti-bullying policy is in place to ensure a safe, friendly, and respectful, environment conducive to the comprehensive development of our members. Our anti-bullying policy describes prohibited behavior and procedures for dealing with those behaviors.
The USA Swimming Code of Conduct defines bullying in 304.3.7. Bullying is the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members of oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other member that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of:
(i) causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage to the other member’s property;
(ii) placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
(iii) creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA Swimming activity;
(iv) infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming activity; or
(v) materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC).
Bullying, in any form, is prohibited.
Swimmers should report incidence of bullying to a member of the coaching staff or their parents. Parents should contact the Head Coach if a swimmer is being bullied or is engaging in bullying behavior.
Depending on the seriousness of the bullying the Head Coach may implement sanctions, which include, without limitation:
(i) verbal warning;
(ii) written warning to the parents of swimmer engaged in bullying behavior outlining possible sanctions if the prohibited behavior continues;
(iii) letters of apology;
(iv) required service or good deed to the affected swimmer, to the team, or to the community;
(v) clean up, repair, or replacement of damaged property;
(vi) suspension from team events;
(vii) expulsion from the team.
V. Further Information