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7 Ways Coaches Can Create An Inclusive Environment

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Baseball is America's pastime, which means it is 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:

• Always give the same level of respect to everyone.

• Never tolerate derogatory or belittling language between athletes.

• Listen and display empathy to all athletes.

• Respect any assistive devices, such as canes or wheelchairs, and always ask before moving assistive devices.

• Remember that some disabilities may not be easily noticeable and can be hidden, such as dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

• Be considerate of the modifications to the game or the extra time athletes may need.

This article was provided through PCA’s partnership with USA Baseball. For more information about creating a safe and fun environment for all athletes, please visit USA Baseball’s Online Education Center by clicking below.

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