The Spiders have contracts for all three groups that need to be signed upon joining the team. I’ve also created generic versions that you can use for your teams.
You should have contracts for the following (click links to view these other samples):
While a contract may be used as a basis of discipline for a player or parent, that’s of course a bit trickier for a coach — particularly the head coach. But the primary reason for these contracts isn’t to make discipline easier.
Instead, these contracts are necessary as reminders and clear roadmaps for what is and isn’t expected. If I violate any of my coaching rules, I expect a parent or fellow coach (even a player!) to call me on it.
I’ve crafted my own youth baseball coach contract for the Spiders (to be used for all of our coaches), but I figured that this may be useful to other teams as well. So I’ve created a sample contract that you can use for your teams.
I’ve included the points of the contract below, but you can also download a generic version of the player, parent and coaching contracts to use for your own team by filling out this form…
All parents and players are required to sign contracts to indicate an understanding of team rules. Coaches are not exempt. There are rules and expectations that apply specifically to these volunteers.
The following contract should be signed by all bench coaches – the head coach and assistant coaches. Some of these expectations will apply more to the head coach than to assistants.
The goal here is for the expectations of coaches to be understood by all – not just the coaches themselves, but by parents and players. As is the case with parents and players, coaches are not perfect. But their behavior filters down through the rest of the team, so it is imperative that they hold themselves to the highest of standards.
The main objective here is for the entire team — players, parents and coaches — to be on the same page. We’re in this together!
I hereby commit to be a coach of the _________________. As a coach, I understand that how I carry myself on and off the field is critical – my behavior is modeled by players and parents while it may be dissected by the opposition. As such, I will do my best to follow these rules…
1. I will set a good example by modeling the same basic expectations set for players and parents. If an expectation is reasonable for a parent or player, I should also be expected to follow those same standards.
2. I will practice high ethical standards and only direct my team to play within the rules. We will always attempt to play within the rules of fair play, regardless of whether they are enforced.
3. I will have a thorough understanding of the rules of the game and those applicable to the tournaments we play. I will be a student of the official and tournament rulebooks so that I am properly prepared.
4. I will do everything I can to best prepare my players for the situations they will face. We will use practice as a time to thoroughly cover situations so that players are positioned to succeed.
5. I will have clear, written team rules and expectations for players, parents and coaches. It is unfair to all if the rules and expectations are not in writing.
6. I will consistently enforce team rules. While severity, frequency and context will matter, it’s important to enforce rules fairly.
7. I will have clear, written expectations for players regarding team philosophy and approach. Beyond rules, players need to have a clear understanding of how we as a team will consistently approach the game.
8. I will enforce gameplay discipline due to mental and not physical mistakes. Players will make mistakes, particularly physical ones. Mental mistakes are a sign of poor preparation or approach and need to be corrected and prevented.
9. I will not enforce gameplay discipline due to mental mistakes if I did not adequately prepare the player for that situation. If a player was not properly prepared to handle a situation, I can’t be disappointed in his decision. Correction and preparation – not discipline – are required.
10. I will consciously provide more positive than negative reinforcement. I understand that this significantly impacts a player’s passion to play the game and ability to learn.
11. I will treat all kids fairly, including my own. I will do my best to evaluate players and assign roles in an unbiased light.
12. I will treat all of our players with the respect they deserve. My role is to teach the game of baseball and some life lessons along the way. These are kids developing into young adults, and they all deserve my respect.
13. I will always be physically and mentally prepared. I will provide proper equipment and do my best to be prepared for any situation at any time.
14. I will determine roles, positions, lineups and playing time in good faith. These things will be determined based on an honest assessment of ability, effort, teamwork, preparedness, execution and fulfillment of team rules and philosophy.
15. I will arrive early to practices and games to be sure that I am prepared prior to players arriving. Players should never wait for their coach to arrive with equipment and instruction.
16. I will enforce safety at all times, including but not limited to proper use of equipment. Roles will be assigned with safety in mind, giving positions to players who show their execution of that role will keep themselves and others safe.
17. I will not risk the health of a player’s arm in an effort to win. I will obey pitch limits, remove a player who complains of a sore arm and practice caution to prevent arm injury.
18. I will take lightning seriously and will not risk the safety of my team, coaches and families. If lightning is close by, the game or practice is no longer important. The players, coaches and families must be removed.
19. I will respect decisions made by the umpires. I will not always agree with them, but I will do my best to have respectful discussions with a calm demeanor when those situations arise.
20. I will be a role model for my players regarding good sportsmanship, teamwork and self worth. I realize that players and families will often follow my lead. It is important that we all practice good sportsmanship and respect of others and ourselves.
21. I will respect the opposing team, coaches, players and fans. While games can get intense, we will practice friendly competition and show respect for our opponents.
22. I understand that winning is important, but the primary objective is promoting an environment of growth and learning. We will always try to win the game, but winning will be secondary to a commitment for our core values.
23. I will handle winning with class and losing with grace. Winning is exciting, but I will not forget the pain and disappointment that are often felt on the other side. Likewise, as a team we will keep our heads up high when we lose and show respect to the winning team.
24. I will practice self-control, setting a positive example for others. The game is full of exciting moments and passion, but as the coach I have a responsibility to remain calm.
25. I will clearly communicate schedules and team info with families in a timely manner. I will use timely email, text messaging, software, handouts or whatever means necessary to keep families properly informed.
26. I will promote an environment where I am approachable for fair and open discussions with players and parents. While parents and players will not always agree with my decisions, it is important that they see their coach as someone they can approach with an open dialog.
27. I will make an effort to get to know all kids and families personally. Throughout the season, we will become a baseball family. It is my responsibility as the coach to get to know these kids and families outside of their baseball world to better understand and communicate with them.
I will always do my best to follow these rules. While I am not expected to be perfect and we will all have our weak moments, the main thing is that I will make a consistent effort to help nurture a positive environment for all.
However, I will not consistently neglect or ignore these rules. Depending on the severity and frequency of my infractions, I understand that my actions may impact the standing of my child on this team.
I understand these rules, and I will do my best to always represent this team and my child well.