Home > Returning to Coaching: What the New Changes Mean

Returning to Coaching: What the New Changes Mean

As of October 19, 2020, the Ontario Government has announced that York public health unit regions are now in a modified Stage 2.

As of October 10, 2020, the Ontario Government has announced that Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health unit regions are now in a modified Stage 2. The government will reconsider whether these measures are still required in 28 days. For these regions, these new measures include closure of high-contact locations such as;

  • indoor gyms and fitness centres, including yoga studios and dance studios
  • team sports, except for training sessions (no games or scrimmage).

Be sure to follow the advice from your Public Health Unit regarding additional measures during these times. If you do not reside in these regions, continue to follow your local protocols already in place.

For more information about current public health measures and Government of Ontario restrictions, including additional measures for targeted regions, click HERE.

Access your sport’s return to play guidelines and protocols

How Does This Impact Me As a Coach?

Ensure your club or organization has all participants sign a COVID-19 waiver confirming they understand the risks of returning to sport in a pandemic environment, have not been exposed to COVID-19 (or if so, 14 days have passed), are not experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms, and their agreement to follow the provincial sport organization’s plan.

For more information on risk management and details on waivers in the sport environment click HERE.

According to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act:

In-person teaching and instruction:

5. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the person responsible for a business or place that is open and that provides in-person teaching or instruction shall ensure that every instructional space complies with the following conditions:

1. The instructional space must be operated to enable students to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the instructional space, except where necessary for teaching and instruction that cannot be effectively provided if physical distancing is maintained (spotting, etc.).

If you need to enter within that 2-mentre distance to assist your athlete, ensure that you have a mask and (if possible) gloves to maximize safety for all involved

 

 

Resources & Links

Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act: Rules for areas in Stage 3

Each Provincial/National Sport Organization throughout Canada has different return-to-play guidelines designed solely for their individual sports(s). Visit the sector-specific return to play guidelines to see what provisions affect your sport.

Don’t see your sport listed? Contact your PSO for more information.

Not sure how to reach your PSO? Visit our Contact Your Sport page.

Any equipment that is rented to, provided to or provided for the use of users of the facility must be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play, such as at the completion of a game or practice.

Activities must not be practised or played within the facility if they require the use of fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play.

Now that Stage 3 allows the public to resume more “normal” daily activities, this does increase the risk of spreading or caching COVID-19. Even by taking all the precautions you can, it’s important to know what steps to take if someone on your team was to test positive for COVID-19. Be sure to include this in your updated Emergency Action Plan and share this information with all participants, staff and spectators involved at practices/training.

  • If someone on your team begins to feel any symptoms of COVID-19, the first thing they should do is get tested. Ontario has various COVID-19 assessment test centres around the province.
  • If someone feels symptoms of COVID-19 OR tests positive, they need to let anyone they were in contact with throughout the last 48hrs know. If they were at a team practice, you or your COVID-19 manager will need to contact everyone who attended that practice and let them know they may have been exposed.
  • Anyone suspected of having COVID-19 or that was in contact with that person must stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days. You could be carrying the virus without knowing it. It is also suggested that you get a COVID-19 test to confirm your results.
  • After anyone on your team has had a COVID-19 test, they can access the results online OR they can contact the clinician who ordered their test.
  • If someone on the team tests positive, they must quarantine themselves inside their home. This means they DO NOT go outside to any public spaces until their clinician alerts them that they have completed their entire quarantine. A person who is quarantined will need to have someone pick up groceries or anything else they may need. They cannot do this on their own. As the coach, check and see if your athletes or staff have someone who can assist them in the way, if not, help coordinate someone to help with grocery drop off.
  • Once said person is cleared to come out of quarantine and has no symptoms of COVID-19, they can return to practice.

Resources & Links

COVID-19 Symptoms and Treatment (Ontario Government)

Find a COVID-19 Test Centre (Ontario Government)

How to self-isolate (Public Health Ontario)

Access your online COVID-19 Test Results (Ontario Government) – not ALL tests will be able to be accessed online. If you cannot access your test result online, please contact the clinician who ordered your test or your primary care provider.

 

 

It’s important that your athletes are prepared for what this new version of “training” will look like. A part of keeping everyone safe will be to provide athletes and coaching staff with reliable and easy-to-understand information regarding COVID-19 safety and returning to play.

These resources include proper hand-washing, physical distancing, how to wear a mask, and other tools that they can do on their own, prior to gathering with a group. It is vital that your team alerts you or the COVID-19 team lead if they start to feel unwell. As the coach, you may be responsible for turning athletes away if their health questionnaire displays that they could be a risk to others.

Inform athletes and staff of updated emergency procedures related to COVID-19. This includes the closest assessment centre to their training field/facility. Inform them that their attendance record contact information will be used if someone were to become ill.

Knowledge is power, giving some to your athletes alleviates work on yourself and staff if everyone stays updated and informed.

As Provincial organizations are releasing their return-to-play guidelines, you as the coach will be the main contact between your club and your athletes on safety protocols and measures.

Now that we can gather in larger groups does not mean we ease up on safety and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Some key documents you should have on you at practices going forward:

  • A COVID-19 Participant Agreement to inform the potential risk factors to all those involved.
  • An updated Emergency Action Plan with COVID-19 Assessment Centres nearby your training facilities
  • Daily Health Screening Questionnaire for athletes and staff to complete each practice
  • Hand washing station and/or hand sanitizer ready at all times
  • An attendance sheet to track who is attending practices. This should include first and last name, phone number, and email. If someone was to contract COVID-19, you would need to let everyone who was in potential contact with them that they should go get tested. This is an easy way to keep track.
  • It wouldn’t hurt to have some extra masks and gloves on hand in case there is an injury at practice that requires you to physically assist the athlete. Keep these items in the team first aid kit and make sure that those assisting the player are well protected before coming into contact.
  • With the rise of mask and glove use, we are seeing lots of litter across the province. If you or any of your athletes/staff are wearing PPE, have a garbage bag (or disposable bag) ready to properly dispose of those items after training.

Resources & Links

Participant Agreement SAMPLE (ViaSport BC)

Emergency Action Plan eModule (Available in your NCCP Locker account, under the eLearning tab)

COVID-19 Assessment Centre Map for printable version click HERE

Updating Your Waivers & Forms (Sport Law & Strategy Group)

There’s no easy way to turn away an athlete or staff member away from a practice – for any reason. However, the risk and potential consequences of not properly doing so if an athlete or staff member is suspected of having COVID-19 could be exponential. It is better to be over-cautious and find there is nothing wrong, then to have some accidently spread the virus.

One way to make these conversations easier:

  1. Have a conversation about health screening and identifying how you are feeling in a team meeting before training starts.  Let everyone know how it will work and that it is their responsibility to be truthful when declaring their health when they sign-in to practices.
  2. When having athletes sign the attendance sheet and fill out the health screening questionnaire, do it away from the rest of the group. Participants are currently still required to physically distance, so this makes it a bit easier. This way, if you need to turn someone away, you can have a private conversation away from the group.

It is important to note that these guidelines are to be used as a guide only. Nothing in this document is intended to provide legal advice. Do not rely on this document or treat it as legal advice.

Free & discounted training, funding, and resources

Home > Coach Resources for COVID-19

Coach Resources for COVID-19

Return to Play Guidelines & Protocols

As of October 19, 2020, the Ontario Government has announced that York public health unit regions are now in a modified Stage 2.

As of October 10, 2020, the Ontario Government has announced that Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health unit regions are now in a modified Stage 2. The government will reconsider whether these measures are still required in 28 days. For these regions, these new measures include closure of high-contact locations such as;

  • indoor gyms and fitness centres, including yoga studios and dance studios
  • team sports, except for training sessions (no games or scrimmage).

If you do not reside in these affected regions, continue to follow your local protocols already in place.

For more information about current public health measures and Government of Ontario restrictions, including additional measures for targeted regions, click HERE.

For detailed information regarding ONTARIO REGULATION 572/20 and the modified return to stage 2 visit the Ontario Government legislation available HERE.

Access your sport’s return to play guidelines and protocols

COVID Support:

During this time of unprecedented challenge, the CAO is committed to supporting Ontario coaches with greater access for opportunities to learn and enhance your knowledge.

The Quest for Gold Coach Bursary has been extended to Online Delivery courses.

If you complete an eligible NCCP multi-sport training via ‘Online Delivery’ you can now submit for a coach bursary to receive up to 60% back off the cost of the course.

This policy is in effect for courses starting from March 16th, 2020 until further notice.

60-70% back on training and certification

A multitude of NCCP and coach training in Ontario is available in alternative formats. The CAO supports alternative learning methods to provide coaches who are unable to attend an in-class course during these times with certification and/or professional development.

Online Delivery

  • Offering a virtual classroom experience on a scheduled date and time. Online courses are facilitator-led and group-based offered through a platform called Adobe Connect.

Home Study

  • Correspondence based learning method offerings an e-workbook to be completed at your own pace. Once complete you email the workbook to an assigned facilitator to be marked.

eLearning

  • Completed at your own pace in an online format located inside your NCCP Locker account.

Remote NCCP learning opportunities

Here is a listing of available FREE professional development webinars offered by various organizations in sport, including the CAO!

Coach 2 Coach Webinar Series

  • Free monthly webinars from top sport experts on various topics hosted by the CAO!
  • Receive NCCP PD Points!

Canadian Women & Sport

  • Past and present webinars on gender equity, engaging newcomer girls and women in sport etc.
  • Click HERE to learn more.

The Aspen Sport Institute – Project Play (USA)

  • Coronavirus and Youth Sports.
  • Click HERE for current opportunities.

Free monthly webinars from top sport experts

A multitude of eLearning training is available for free and/or discounted prices during COVID.

NCCP eLearning Options Available in the Locker:

  • NCCP Making Head Way in Sport – FREE
  • NCCP Emergency Action Plan – FREE
  • NCCP Sport Nutrition – $20
  • NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability – $15
  • Safe Sport Training – FREE

For more information on each of these offerings, including PD Points, click HERE or log into your NCCP Locker account.

Canucks Autism Network

  • Supporting Positive Behaviour – FREE
  • Access the training HERE using discount code:  JSCAN-A2B3C4D

HeadStartPro

  • Enhance performance and prevent injuries by improving focus, awareness and mindfulness.
  • NOW eligible to receive 3 PD Points for Ontario residents.
  • Click HERE to access.

Sport for Life – Community Sport Councils of Ontario

  • Cultural Awareness in Youth Sport
  • Diversity & Inclusion Training for Volunteers
  • Effective Board Governance
  • Effective Communication
  • Recruitment & Retention of Volunteers
  • Risk Management in Sport
  • Click HERE to learn more.

Each of these eLearning options are available for FREE through the Community Sport Councils of Ontario (CSCO). Please contact Lori Wells at loriwcsco@gmail.com to receive your FREE discount code. (Limited Codes Available). 

Accessing your NCCP Locker account

We have an extensive library of articles, blogs and resources for you to explore! From psychology to communication, to mentorship, our Coach 2 Coach library is here for you. Here are just a few new ones to get you started:

See past Coach 2 Coach topics.

We want to hear from you!

Let us know in the form below how CAO can continue to support you during these times. Your input and suggestions are vital to ensuring our programs and resources are meeting the needs of Ontario’s coaching and sport community.

Supporting You During COVID-19
Please identify your primary role: *
Home > Coaching In A COVID-19 World: Your Questions Answered

Coaching In A COVID-19 World: Your Questions Answered

  • Date: October 13th, 2020 from 12 – 1pm EST
  • 300 spots available
  • Participants receive 1 PD point

Coaching in today’s environment in the face of COVID-19 can be difficult to navigate. How do you keep yourself safe? How do you balance safety and training? What’s true and what’s not?

Staying on top of what is changing and affecting your coaching environment is essential to improving the experience of your athletes. This webinar will cover topics collected from everyday coaches across Ontario to provide you with tips to navigate COVID-19 safely, specifically in the coaching environment.

Ask your questions HERE.

Meet The Speaker:

Dr. John Philpott is a specialist in the well-being of children, adolescents and young adults. He currently acts as a team physician for the Canadian Senior Men’s Soccer Team, Skate Canada’s Senior National Team as well as, the team physician for the Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball Team.

Dr. Philpott is also an Assistant Professor, Section of Community Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. He has been published in several journals, including being the principle author or co-author of several position policy statements of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine. He has appeared on CTV, CTV’s Canada AM, CityTV, CBC Radio and Global as well as in the Globe & Mail.

Registration Dates:
CAO Community Member: Opens October 5*
General Public: Opens October 6

*To be first in line to register before the general public and enjoy exclusive access to our video library, join the CAO community with an annual or lifetime package!

Join the Community

See what Coach-2-Coach is all about!

Coach Responses

Have a question you want answered about COVID-19 and coaching safely, or returning to sport?

Ask your question below and tune in to our webinar on October 13th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm with Dr. John Philpott to hear your questions answered.

Ask Now
Home > Getting Ready to Return to Coaching

Getting Ready to Return to Coaching

If you have been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably seen some developments from the provincial government on loosening some COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario. As of June 12th, 2020, Ontario will be taking a regional approach to Stage 2 re-opening.

In this latest stage announcement from the Provincial Government groups up to ten (10) are now allowed, outdoor team sports may resume, if physically distancing, for training only and with no scrimmages or games, and aquatic facilities have been allowed to re-open, all in select regions of the province.
These provisions need to be taken into account with what your Provincial Sport Organization and/or National Sport Organization has developed in accordance with your facility and municipal guidelines. With 67 recognized sports in Ontario and Canada, each sport has unique issues which need to be factored into their own return to sport plan as well as fit Provincial health and safety guidelines.

So, as a coach, you may be wondering what does all of this mean? What can/should I be doing at this time?

Ensure your club or organization has all participants sign a COVID-19 waiver confirming they understand the risks of returning to sport in a pandemic environment, have not been exposed to COVID-19 (or if so, 14 days have passed), are not experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms, and their agreement to follow the provincial sport organization’s plan.

For more information on risk management and details on waivers in the sport environment click HERE.

According to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act:

In-person teaching and instruction:

5. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the person responsible for a business or place that is open and that provides in-person teaching or instruction shall ensure that every instructional space complies with the following conditions:

1. The instructional space must be operated to enable students to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the instructional space, except where necessary for teaching and instruction that cannot be effectively provided if physical distancing is maintained (spotting, etc.).

If you need to enter within that 2-mentre distance to assist your athlete, ensure that you have a mask and (if possible) gloves to maximize safety for all involved

 

 

Resources & Links

Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act: Rules for areas in Stage 3

Each Provincial/National Sport Organization throughout Canada has different return-to-play guidelines designed solely for their individual sports(s). Visit the sector-specific return to play guidelines to see what provisions affect your sport.

Don’t see your sport listed? Contact your PSO for more information.

Not sure how to reach your PSO? Visit our Contact Your Sport page.

Any equipment that is rented to, provided to or provided for the use of users of the facility must be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play, such as at the completion of a game or practice.

Activities must not be practised or played within the facility if they require the use of fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play.

Now that Stage 3 allows the public to resume more “normal” daily activities, this does increase the risk of spreading or caching COVID-19. Even by taking all the precautions you can, it’s important to know what steps to take if someone on your team was to test positive for COVID-19. Be sure to include this in your updated Emergency Action Plan and share this information with all participants, staff and spectators involved at practices/training.

  • If someone on your team begins to feel any symptoms of COVID-19, the first thing they should do is get tested. Ontario has various COVID-19 assessment test centres around the province.
  • If someone feels symptoms of COVID-19 OR tests positive, they need to let anyone they were in contact with throughout the last 48hrs know. If they were at a team practice, you or your COVID-19 manager will need to contact everyone who attended that practice and let them know they may have been exposed.
  • Anyone suspected of having COVID-19 or that was in contact with that person must stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days. You could be carrying the virus without knowing it. It is also suggested that you get a COVID-19 test to confirm your results.
  • After anyone on your team has had a COVID-19 test, they can access the results online OR they can contact the clinician who ordered their test.
  • If someone on the team tests positive, they must quarantine themselves inside their home. This means they DO NOT go outside to any public spaces until their clinician alerts them that they have completed their entire quarantine. A person who is quarantined will need to have someone pick up groceries or anything else they may need. They cannot do this on their own. As the coach, check and see if your athletes or staff have someone who can assist them in the way, if not, help coordinate someone to help with grocery drop off.
  • Once said person is cleared to come out of quarantine and has no symptoms of COVID-19, they can return to practice.

Resources & Links

COVID-19 Symptoms and Treatment (Ontario Government)

Find a COVID-19 Test Centre (Ontario Government)

How to self-isolate (Public Health Ontario)

Access your online COVID-19 Test Results (Ontario Government) – not ALL tests will be able to be accessed online. If you cannot access your test result online, please contact the clinician who ordered your test or your primary care provider.

 

 

It’s important that your athletes are prepared for what this new version of “training” will look like. A part of keeping everyone safe will be to provide athletes and coaching staff with reliable and easy-to-understand information regarding COVID-19 safety and returning to play.

These resources include proper hand-washing, physical distancing, how to wear a mask, and other tools that they can do on their own, prior to gathering with a group. It is vital that your team alerts you or the COVID-19 team lead if they start to feel unwell. As the coach, you may be responsible for turning athletes away if their health questionnaire displays that they could be a risk to others.

Inform athletes and staff of updated emergency procedures related to COVID-19. This includes the closest assessment centre to their training field/facility. Inform them that their attendance record contact information will be used if someone were to become ill.

Knowledge is power, giving some to your athletes alleviates work on yourself and staff if everyone stays updated and informed.

As Provincial organizations are releasing their return-to-play guidelines, you as the coach will be the main contact between your club and your athletes on safety protocols and measures.

Now that we can gather in larger groups does not mean we ease up on safety and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Some key documents you should have on you at practices going forward:

  • A COVID-19 Participant Agreement to inform the potential risk factors to all those involved.
  • An updated Emergency Action Plan with COVID-19 Assessment Centres nearby your training facilities
  • Daily Health Screening Questionnaire for athletes and staff to complete each practice
  • Hand washing station and/or hand sanitizer ready at all times
  • An attendance sheet to track who is attending practices. This should include first and last name, phone number, and email. If someone was to contract COVID-19, you would need to let everyone who was in potential contact with them that they should go get tested. This is an easy way to keep track.
  • It wouldn’t hurt to have some extra masks and gloves on hand in case there is an injury at practice that requires you to physically assist the athlete. Keep these items in the team first aid kit and make sure that those assisting the player are well protected before coming into contact.
  • With the rise of mask and glove use, we are seeing lots of litter across the province. If you or any of your athletes/staff are wearing PPE, have a garbage bag (or disposable bag) ready to properly dispose of those items after training.

Resources & Links

Participant Agreement SAMPLE (ViaSport BC)

Emergency Action Plan eModule (Available in your NCCP Locker account, under the eLearning tab)

COVID-19 Assessment Centre Map for printable version click HERE

Updating Your Waivers & Forms (Sport Law & Strategy Group)

There’s no easy way to turn away an athlete or staff member away from a practice – for any reason. However, the risk and potential consequences of not properly doing so if an athlete or staff member is suspected of having COVID-19 could be exponential. It is better to be over-cautious and find there is nothing wrong, then to have some accidently spread the virus.

One way to make these conversations easier:

  1. Have a conversation about health screening and identifying how you are feeling in a team meeting before training starts.  Let everyone know how it will work and that it is their responsibility to be truthful when declaring their health when they sign-in to practices.
  2. When having athletes sign the attendance sheet and fill out the health screening questionnaire, do it away from the rest of the group. Participants are currently still required to physically distance, so this makes it a bit easier. This way, if you need to turn someone away, you can have a private conversation away from the group.

It is important to note that these guidelines are to be used as a guide only. Nothing in this document is intended to provide legal advice. Do not rely on this document or treat it as legal advice.

Ask Your Questions!

If you are interested in asking a question about your return to coaching feel free to submit your question in the form below. CAO will work to answer your question in the next edition of our Getting Ready to Return Coaching.

Getting Ready to Return to Coaching – Your Questions
Home > How to Team Build While Social Distancing

How to Team Build While Social Distancing

Tips and tricks for team building with your athletes:

Sports offer a variety of opportunities to develop our physical abilities, improve our mental well-being and to connect with our communities. Whether you participate or facilitate in grassroots, recreational or high-performance sport, having a strong bond with teammates and staff is a feeling like no other.

But why is team cohesion important? Well, for starters, many of the most successful sports teams in history worked as well-oiled machines – take the 90s Bulls for example. Team building is more than everyone “getting along”, it’s understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and making a choice to support each other regardless. Not only can this improve the results on the playing field – but it can build long-lasting friendships and relationships.

Some tips for remote team building:

Ask your athletes what they value in team cohesion. It’s important to understand as coaches that each of your athletes may have different perspectives on what team cohesion looks like. While using virtual video platforms such as, start by asking questions such as “what does team cohesions mean/look like to you?”

After your athletes/coaching staff have shared their ideas, let them know what your idea of team cohesion is. This displays an open dialogue from all members of the team and helps to set the standard that all ideas are valid and welcomed.

Start goal setting for the upcoming season. Have your athletes write down one personal goal and one team goal. This will not only give you a sense of how competitive the team goal is for the season but, it will also show what your athlete’s goals are. If many of them are technical skill-based, that can help when you begin your practice planning.

Put together a player code of conduct with your team. Allowing players and coaching staff to have input shows that their opinions are valued. When players truly believe and are a part of the player code of conduct, it creates a sense of ownership that will help them to hold themselves and their teammates accountable.

Incorporate some fun activities into your teams’ virtual meetings:

  • Pictionary – This can be played over webcams, either keeping points individually or having coaches/athletes team up in pairs/groups. Utilize a word generator to generate topics and have individuals draw on paper or use a whiteboard feature (if available) on your platform.
  • Two Truths and a Lie – Each team member comes up with two truths and one lie about themselves and shares with the group. This is a great way for coaches and players to learn more about one another off of the playing field.
  • Brainstorm – Have your team come up with 10 signs of a good team player. This can be later be used as a reference in a player-code-of-conduct and even adapted for parents.

Team building activities for when we return to sport

When sports eventually do come in to play, a great way to have your athletes bond is through activities. James Leath – the founder of Unleash the Athlete, is a mental performance coach who puts a lot of focus on team chemistry. Here are some exercises from James’ “Interrupt” Wake up the Athlete and Set the Mood to try when sports resume:

  1. Flip the Tarp – a group of athletes stand on the tarp with the goal to flip it over without touching the floor or using furniture. (If you have a large team, let one group go at a time OR, bring a second tarp to allow for a safe amount of athletes playing at one time)
  2. Linked – Have athletes sit on the floor back-to-back with a partner and link arms at their sides. The goal is to stand up while staying linked. If groups of two are too easy, increase the number. This can be done with multiple people.
  3. Two-Handed Ro Sham Bo – This is basically Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament style. Have athletes pair up with one another. Have the pairs play one round of rock-paper-scissors. Whoever wins will circulate the room to find a new competitor. The athlete who lost now becomes the cheerleader for the winner – hyping them up and cheering them on as they continue to compete. This continues until there is one winner throughout the whole group with everyone cheering them on.
  4. Cone Game – Have your athlete’s pair up in two’s. Each pair will face each other roughly an arm’s length distance apart. Place a cone between them. The coach will prepare athletes to be saying “ready” and then proceed to call out various body parts for athletes to follow along and touch – head, toes, ears, shoulders, etc. Once the coach yells “cone” athletes compete against their partner to reach and grab the cone first. You can have athletes shift down the line to face new partners.
Home > So Your Season is Cancelled – Now What?

So Your Season is Cancelled – Now What?

Tips for talking to your athletes about disappointment

The cancellation of playoffs, meets, tournaments and even whole seasons during these times have been a huge source of disappointment to coaches, athletes and parents.

Even as some businesses across Ontario start to reopen, it appears that it will still be some time before we’ll be back together in groups, which is almost always necessary for sports.

Below we’ve put together some talking points to help you and your athletes get through this season’s setbacks and start preparing for the next one.

  1. Tell them it’s okay to be disappointed
    For some athletes, cancellations may mean they will miss their final competition or season at a specific level or with a certain team. For others, it’s been something circled on the calendar for months, a motivating force to look forward to during difficult times. The loss of these things are huge disappointments that are not easy to get over quickly, and that’s okay to acknowledge. Encouraging your athletes to verbalize their sadness or frustrations is a helpful first step towards working through their feelings and moving past these setbacks.
  2. Discuss how sports helps us to become more resilient
    Sport helps to teach us that we can handle whatever is thrown at us. The lessons that we teach on the playing field can be extrapolated to our current situation and help our athletes to develop resiliency and grow as people.
  3. Remind them that the training and hard work they have put in isn’t for nothing
    It’s crucial to remind athletes that all of the effort and dedication they have put in to preparing for this season has not gone to waste. Any time an athlete has spent training has inevitably helped to improve their skill set and fitness, and this will still be beneficial when they can resume competition. Setbacks – such as an injury or an illness – can cause the loss of a season at any time. There will be more opportunities in the future and all of their hard work will eventually pay off.
  4. Focus on small, achievable goals
    Helping your athletes to create a routine and control what is possible right now is a huge step towards achieving a level of normalcy during this time. There are many ways that coaches and teammates can still stay connected, even when they’re not face-to-face. Try virtual training sessions or team hangouts to keep cohesion high among teammates.
  5. Help them focus on what they want to achieve in the future
    Now is a great time to talk about goal-setting and encourage your athletes to spend some time reflecting on their pathway in their sport and what they would like to achieve in the short and long term. This extends to coaches too. Are there any workshops or professional development courses you’ve wanted to do, but never had the time? Now is the perfect opportunity.

Sports gives us the foundation to adapt and stay resilient during difficult times. By reminding your athletes that they already possess the tools necessary to cope with these setbacks, you will help them to adjust to the current situation more quickly, and continue to develop into even better athletes and people.

Free & discounted training, funding, and resources

View all currently scheduled Online PDCourses

Home > Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online

For Coaches, Sport Organizations, Parents & Athletes – Staying Safe Online

The new “normal” of virtual coaching and online training sessions is something that may be new to a lot of coaches, athletes and parents during these times. These virtual meetings allows teams and athletes to continue to train and stay connected, which is great for maintaining positive mental and physical health. While it is something that may be new to many, there are some risks that could accompany the rise in these virtual environments.

We’ve put together these resources and guidelines so that sport organizations, coaches, parents/guardians and athletes can enjoy all the benefits and reduce the risk.

Guidelines for all adults to keep in mind:

  • Get parent/guardian permission
  • Remember The Rule of Two
  • Eliminate one-to-one electronic messaging
  • Remain transparent and professional

For Coaches

  1. Keep your communication professional and transparent.
    Ask open-ended questions, then listen to what they say and validate their feelings (“It is OK to feel disappointed or angry.”).
    Should you need to communicate with an individual athlete, always copy their parent/guardian or another adult. Don’t communicate one-on-one with individual athletes over personal text or social media.
  2. Ensure virtual sessions are appropriately secured and are password protected.
    Remind athletes not to forward the links to anyone outside of the team without your permission.
  3. Restate team expectations about respectful communication and online behaviours.
    This is a great time to remind athletes that their Athlete Code of Conduct is still in effect during physical distancing. Review inappropriate behaviours like cyber bullying, hazing, and harassment.
  4. Highlight physical safety when suggesting home workouts.
    Ensure home workouts are appropriate for the athlete’s level and don’t require resources the athlete doesn’t have at home. Remind athletes to hydrate properly and take breaks when needed.
  5. Be mindful of your athlete’s home life – look for warning signs of distress and/or abuse in the home.
    Provide emotional support and report any suspected or known child abuse to the police and/or your Local Children’s Aid Society.
  6. Never be alone with a participant without another screened coach or screened adult present. (The Rule of Two)
    Any virtual lessons must be observable and interruptible by another screened adult, such as another coach or parent/guardian. Keep doors open and wear appropriate clothing.
    Get permission for all virtual lessons.
    Recording sessions are recommended, where that capacity exists.

For Parents/Guardians

  1. Restate expectations about appropriate behaviour online.
    Talk about how you expect your child to behave and how they should expect to be treated by others during these virtual settings.
  2. Learn about the apps and websites your child is using, including how to control the privacy settings.
  3. Have your child use webcams in a common area or a room with the door open.
    Make sure they are aware of what and who is visible in the webcam or video shot. Cameras should also be covered when not in use.
  4. Maintain open lines of communication with your child and pay attention to their emotional state.
    Even though you may be at home with your child all day, it is important to check-in with them about their day and see how they are feeling. Staying connected with friends and teammates is incredibly important for their mental health but can also open the door to hurtful behaviour.

For Athletes

  1. Use your webcam in a common area or a room with the door open.
    Be aware of what and who is visible in the shot. Cameras should also be covered when not in use.
  2. Make sure any informal team gatherings include all teammates.
    Hanging out with your teammates virtually is a great way to stay connected, beat boredom, and feel better. Make sure all of your teammates are invited in team huddles or game nights.
  3. Say something to your coach, parents, or another trusted adult if you notice someone being cyber bullied, harassed, or exploited.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or reach out to a trained professional for any issue – big or small.
    Connect to Kids Help Phone which operates 24/7 providing counselling, referral and information for young people.
    Text CONNECT to 686868 or call 1-800-668-6868 or use the Live Chat online at kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat.

We all know how important sport is to our athletes, our communities and society. It is equally important that we all play a role in ensuring that sport continues to stay safe both on and off the field of play.

Video calling, group messaging, online training etc., allow us to stay more connected than ever before. These tips for online safety will helps us all reduce risks associated with online communication, and instead enjoy the benefits of these virtual environments, so that we can all get through this difficult time together.

Resources

Open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week, this national toll-free confidential helpline for harassment, abuse and discrimination provides a safe place for victims and witnesses to report their concerns.

Call or text 1-888-83-SPORT (77678)
Contact by email at info@abuse-free-sport.ca

The Canadian Sport Helpline exists to provide advice, guidance, and resources on how to proceed/intervene appropriately in the circumstances.

As a resource you can provide your athletes and participants, Kids Help Phone operates Canada’s only 24/7, professional counselling, referral and information service for young people.

Text CONNECT to 686868 or call 1-800-668-6868
Live Chat online or through the app at kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat

Young athletes can chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer Crisis Responder for support with any issue – big or small.

This rule serves to protect minor athletes in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring that more than one adult is present at all times. Download the Rule of Two guidelines to understand how you can support the Rule of Two in your organization.

If you have received advice from legal counsel or your insurance providers, the advice of your lawyers or insurance providers supersedes the information contained in this article.

References: USA Centre for Safe Sport, Coaching Association of Canada

Home > Helping Parents Coach From Home

Helping Parents Coach From Home

5 coaching tips to help parents keep their athletes motivated at home.

We’re sure that many of you have been receiving questions from parents about what they can be doing at home to help their young athletes continue to stay motivated and working on skill development during this time.

To help, we have put together 5 practical and easy to implement coaching tips below that will help parents keep their kids active and inspired while your season is on a break.

  1. Reinforce positive feedback
    On the playing field we know that an athlete is more likely to reach their potential when they receive more positive than negative feedback. Studies have shown that on average, it takes a minimum ratio of 5 positive comments to 1 negative comment in order for an athlete to consistently continue to develop their skills and achieve performance goals (citation). As your child is practicing and learning new skills, try to keep this 5-to-1 ratio in mind in order to facilitate the best conditions for them to succeed.
  2. Help your children to develop a growth mindset
    Sometimes in sport, it’s easy to get caught up in the outcomes – the wins and loses, final scores and point totals. However, it’s actually the process – including practice, effort, and improvement – that has the most impact on how much your child enjoys their sport and how they develop skills. This includes framing mistakes as an opportunity for growth. Help your athlete see the potential for improvement by asking them to self-assess when something doesn’t go according to plan, and reflect on how they can improve on it for next time. Not only will this encourage persistence, but it will also teach your child how to break down skills and mark milestones as they work towards mastering each one.
  3. Take the opportunity to teach life skills through sports
    Coaches have the unique opportunity to teach skills that their athletes often end up using both on and off the playing field. As you coach your children at home, help them to see when a skill that they are learning may have broader implications beyond the game and may be useful in their day-to-day life. This can help reinforce learning and encourage your athlete to be creative in their thinking by looking for correlations between real world situations and their experiences on the playing field.
  4. Ask them what they need
    Even at practice, or during a game, a Coach knows that their player cannot perform to their potential if their mind is focused (even in part) on something happening elsewhere in their life. The pandemic experience this spring has been an emotional roller-coaster for adults and children alike, and it’s important to acknowledge this. Sports can provide a welcome distraction from the many changes we are experiencing. However, If you feel like your kids are not paying attention or truly “listening” while they are practicing, they may just need a chance to share how they are feeling that day before they can refocus on the task at hand.
  5. Model for your own kids
    The best coaches show their love of the game readily and demonstrate respect for the sport, their opponents and officials. The more you can model positivity and enthusiasm, the more this attitude will become the norm for your child.

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Looking for ways to support your athletes?

Check out our article below with tips and tricks to support your athletes during this time.

Supporting Your Athletes

The CAO continues to provide remote NCCP learning opportunities at this time.
To find out more about available classes, please click HERE.

Need more support? Let us know! Fill out our Support Through COVID-19 form to let us know how we can help. You can find that HERE.  

If you would like to reach out to CAO directly, you can contact info@coachesontario.ca.

Remote NCCP learning opportunities

Home > Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

Tips and tricks for staying mentally & physically fit during COVID-19

As hard as it is to believe, Ontario has just entered it’s the third week under the State of Emergency, with top doctors in the province suggesting this could last until summer.

For many of you reading this, you are coaches and/or administrators who rely on a consistent routine for practices and training. With schools and gyms closed, and sports organizations making the right call to suspend in-person events, many of you are left without your hobbies, passions and livelihood. Regardless of what is happening in your life right now, know that the CAO is here for you.

So, we’ve done some research and put together some key tips and tricks to help you manage your physical and emotional well-being during this difficult time.

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It’s okay to be worried.

‘Anxiety is a normal response to the current situation, says Tina Montreuil, assistant professor in the department of educational and counselling psychology at McGill University. And some of us may have a harder time coping than others, she says, since our usual freedoms and a lot of the control we typically have are restricted as schools, gyms, bars and workplaces close.’ – The Globe and Mail

For more information on managing anxiety during COVID-19, click HERE.

Monitor your mental health.

With these unprecedented times, it can be easy to feel down and feel isolated and alone. Even under normal circumstances, coaches are known for putting other’s needs ahead of their own! By nature, most coaches prioritize looking after those around them, so during a time of extreme stress, like right now, it’s even more important that they carve out time to care for themselves.

Talk to loved ones. Talk to friends. Talk to mental health professionals. There is ample mental health support available online and over the phone to help you during this time. Here are some available resources:

Free apps/platforms to communicate with friends and family:

  • WhatsApp – Fast, simple, messaging, calling and video. (Android, iPhone, Mac or Windows PC)
  • Facebook Messenger – Be together, whenever. A simple way to text, video chat and plan things all in one place.
  • Skype – Skype makes it easy to stay in touch. Calls, chats and conferences of up to 50 people.
  • Facetime (IOS) – You can use FaceTime over Wi-Fi1 or over cellular on supported iOS or iPadOS devices.

The Coaches Association of Ontario advises that you utilize caution when downloading or installing any app or program on your device. The CAO is not responsible for any and all costs, claims, expenses, demands, actions, causes of action, and any liability for damages to property howsoever caused arising out of or in any way related to third-party software.

Incorporate physical exercise when you can.

While going to practice and a gym is no longer an option, it is vital to maintain some sort of physical exercise at this time. Not only is it important for your physical health, but releasing endorphins (the happy hormones) can assist with staying mentally and physically fit. When you can, take a walk – either solo or with those in your immediate household, and change up your scenery, while still being mindful of keeping a distance from others.

For more information on free home workouts during COVID-19, click HERE.

The Coaches Association of Ontario advises that you utilize caution when downloading or installing any app or program on your device. The CAO is not responsible for any and all costs, claims, expenses, demands, actions, causes of action, and any liability for damages to property howsoever caused arising out of or in any way related to third-party software.

Utilize resources available to you.

For those administrators or coaches with a business, you can visit The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to see what funding and support are available for your specific needs.

For those who lost their income due to COVID-19, you can visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page to see what funding and support are available for your specific needs.

For reliable and accurate updates on the outbreak, please visit the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

Check out your provincial public health authorities COVID-19 info: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus

For more information on COVID-19: Awareness Resources, click HERE.

Looking for ways to support your athletes?

Check out our newest article with tips and tricks to support your athletes during this time.

Supporting Your Athletes

The CAO continues to provide remote NCCP learning opportunities at this time.
To find out more about available classes, please click HERE.

Need more support? Let us know! Fill out our Support Through COVID-19 form to let us know how we can help. You can find that HERE.  

If you would like to reach out to CAO directly, you can contact info@coachesontario.ca.

Remote NCCP learning opportunities

Home > Taking Care of Your Athletes

Taking Care of Your Athletes

Tips for supporting your athletes from home during COVID-19

Everyone in the sports community is feeling the impact of COVID-19, and as a coach, you’ve likely spent the last few weeks figuring out how you can best help your athletes stay positive and motivated.

While we all understand that practicing social distancing is essential in protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our communities, it has certainly been tough on athletes who were looking forward to finishing up or starting their seasons.

Although social distancing from one another is vital to flattening the curve, that doesn’t mean we can’t reach out to our colleagues and athletes to check in on how they are coping at this time.

So, if you’re a coach or an administrator looking for ways on how to support athletes on your team, or in your organization, this article’s for you.

We would also like to note that while this article contains information regarding how to assist your athletes in this time that ultimately, you know your athletes best. What is provided here are researched ideas that may or may not be entirely relevant for your age grade, gender, or class of athlete.

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Maintain virtual communication.

Just because we have to keep social distancing, doesn’t mean we need to be limited in our communication with our coaching staff and athletes. There are many free, digital platforms and apps that allow people to stay connected. Check out our list of available virtual communications:

It’s also important to acknowledge that The Rule of Two – which may not seem as relevant right now as during physical interactions, is still an important practice. Remember to copy other members of your coaching on emails and direct messages with your athletes, and always ensure there is at least one trained coach and one screened adult on any of the voice or video call platforms that we have included in this article.

  • WhatsApp – Fast, simple, messaging, calling and video. (Android, iPhone, Mac or Windows PC)
  • Zoom – One Consistent Enterprise Experience. Meetings, chat, video webinars, conference rooms, and more…
  • Skype – Skype makes it easy to stay in touch. Calls, chats and conferences of up to 50 people.
  • Facebook Messenger – Be together, whenever. A simple way to text, video chat and plan things all in one place.
  • Marco Polo – Best of texting, social media and video chats – all in one private, easy to use app.

The Coaches Association of Ontario advises that you utilize caution when downloading or installing any app or program on your device. The CAO is not responsible for any and all costs, claims, expenses, demands, actions, causes of action, and any liability for damages to property howsoever caused arising out of or in any way related to third-party software.

Continue to be a source for your athletes.

While this period leaves lots of uncertainty for adults, children are also feeling the impact of not seeing friends, playing sports and going on playdates. Some valuable information from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health informs us that ‘Young people may also sense the anxiety of their parents, and worry about their own health and that of other family members.’

Provide recipes, workouts and training that athletes can do at home. Provide resources to have them review and look over. Set up group calls during the would-be practice dates and times to maintain a social connection within the team and let them know you are there for them. And don’t be afraid to ask what they need at this time.

As a first step, you may consider to:

  • Acknowledge their fears and emotions
  • See who would be interested in getting workout plans, at-home-training schedules or other resources to help stay active or invested in the sport at this time
  • Were you planning to hand out any awards? Hold a small awards conference on a virtual conference call with the athletes
  • Ask what you can do for them in this time

While contacting your athletes is important – don’t forget about their parents. Parents have played a vital role in youth sports in getting kids to practice, tournaments and being their biggest supporters. They are seeing first hand the effects of this pandemic and what it is doing to their children. They can potentially help provide info on what the kids may need from you. If you are a coach that has parent meetings from time-to-time, see what the interest is in hosting one virtually.

For more information about speaking with youth on COVID-19, click HERE.

Your source for healthy & easy-to-follow recipes to send to your athletes.

Provide them with credible and reliable health resources.  

There’s a lot of “fake news” out there. Let them know about credible resources on the virus:

For more information on COVID-19: Awareness Resources, click HERE.

Looking for personal support?

Check out our newest article with tips and tricks on supporting yourself during this time.

Supporting Your Athletes

Need more support? Let us know! Fill out our Support Through COVID-19 form to let us know how we can help. You can find that HERE.  

If you would like to reach out to CAO directly, you can contact info@coachesontario.ca.