Baseball and softball are for all citizens, regardless of race, color, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin.

As a coach, you have an important responsibility to your players. Every word they hear influences them, and they are looking to you as a role model. Bullying and harassment frequently occur outside the classroom or on athletic fields. Part of your responsibility as a coach is to erase an unacceptable dialogue that is disparaging and harmful to youth. The goal should always be to provide a safe, respectful, positive, and competitive environment for all athletes.

Coaches can help create an environment of inclusion by teaching their players to:

  1. Always give the same level of respect to everyone.
  2. Never tolerate derogatory or belittling language between athletes.
  3. Listen and display empathy to all athletes.
  4. Respect any assistive devices, such as canes or wheelchairs, and always ask before moving assistive devices.
  5. Remember that some disabilities may not be easily noticeable and can be hidden, such as dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
  6. Be considerate of the modifications to the game or the extra time athletes may need.
  7. Games, and sports in general, are to be played for fun.

This article was provided through the Positive Coaching Alliance partnership with USA Baseball.