The primary goal of coaches should be the development of boys and girls to become better citizens. The players must be taught sportsmanship and fair play, and these teachings should always govern their behavior while at practice and at games. Coaches shall be responsible for the conduct of all players, members of the coaching staff and spectators. This includes the time periods before, during and after league games and other events. Improper conduct, in the judgment of the game officials, on the part of the players, coaches or spectators may result in penalties, expulsion and suspension or forfeiture of the game.
USA Football recommends the following coaching ethics:
- The coach will not criticize players in front of spectators.
- The coach will accept the decisions of officials.
- The coach will not criticize the officials, the opposing team, the coaches, fans or parents through language or gesture.
- The coach will emphasize that good athletes are good students, and both are physically and mentally alert.
- The coach will strive to make every football activity serve as a training ground for life and as a basis for good mental and physical health.
- The coach will emphasize that winning a game is the result of teamwork.
- The coach shall not use abusive or profane language in front of anyone connected with the game.
- The coach will refrain from “running up” the score against an opponent. This includes keeping in the first defense at all times.
- The coach shall not be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- The coach will set an example in personal conduct at all times.
- The coach will not smoke or use any form of tobacco while on the field of play during games, scrimmages or practices.
- The coach will treat each player, opposing coach, parent and commissioner with respect and dignity.
- The coach will learn the strengths and weakness of his/her players in order to place them into situations where each has a maximum opportunity to achieve success.
- The coach will protect the health and safety of his/her players by insisting that all of the activities under his/her control be conducted for their psychological and physiological welfare, rather than the interests of adults.