Flood Aquatics Swim Team Electronic Communication Policy
The Flood Aquatics Swim Team recognizes the prevalence of electronic communication and social media in today’s world. Many of our swimmers use these means as their primary method of communication. While we acknowledge the value of these methods of communication, the team also realizes that there are associated risks that must be considered when adults communicate with minors electronically.
Similarly, our athletes need to understand that there are certain standards for electronic communication for everyone associated with the team. The ability of our coaches and non-athlete members to adhere to the required policy relies, in part, on the ability of the athletes to respect the boundaries established for healthy electronic communication with the team.
Coaches, athletes and parents should remember that swimming for the team is a privilege, and they are expected to portray themselves, their team, and their community in a positive manner at all times.
FACEBOOK AND SIMILAR SITES
The team will not have a Twitter or Instagram account. At no time is a parent or swimmer allowed to start a social media page that incorporates the name of our swim team.
Texting is allowed between coaches and athletes during the hours from 7am until 7pm. Texting only shall be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities such as attendance.
Athletes and coaches may use email to communicate between the hours of 7am and 7pm. When communicating with an athlete through email, a parent or another coach should always be copied.
EXPECTATIONS OF COACHES
All communications between a coach and an athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct regarding Athlete Protection.
Any communication concerning an athlete's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues or personal problems must be transparent, accessible and professional. The guiding principle to always use in communication is to ask: “Is this communication something that someone else would find appropriate or acceptable in a face to face meeting?” or “Is this something you would be comfortable saying out loud to the intended recipient of your communication in front of the intended recipient’s parents, the coaching staff, the board, or other athletes?”
With respect to electronic communications, a simple test that can be used in most cases is whether the electronic communication with swimmers is Transparent, Accessible and Professional.
Transparent: All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be transparent. Your communication should not only be clear and direct, but also free of hidden meanings, innuendo and expectations.
Accessible: All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be considered a matter of record and part of the Club’s records. Whenever possible, include another coach or parent in the communication so that there is no question regarding accessibility.
Professional: All electronic communication between a coach and an athlete should be conducted professionally as a representative of the Club. This includes word choices, tone, grammar, and subject matter that model the standards and integrity of a staff member.
If your communication meets all three of the T.A.P. criteria, then it is likely your method of communication with athletes will be appropriate.
Coaches may have personal Facebook accounts but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of the Club join their personal pages as a “friend.” A coach should not accept any “friend” request from an athlete. In addition, the coach should remind the athlete that this is not permitted.
EXPECTATIONS OF ATHLETES
Flood Aquatics will hold the following expectations of its athletes:
- Athletes will not use derogatory language of any kind.
- Athletes will not use social media to attack a member of the team.
- Athletes will respect the boundaries of the coach-athlete relationship.
Things to remember: Texting
- Text messages and photos can be saved or screen-shot. Once a message is transmitted, the sender does not have control.
- Athletes will not text their coach except to communicate information directly related to team activities.
- A coach and swimmer can always discuss swim matters in person and it will always be more effective
Things to remember: Social Media
- Once you post something online it is public and permanent- even if you delete it.
- Carefully consider how others may perceive the information and content you share about yourself.