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Electronic Communication

 
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION

USA Swimming clubs must implement an electronic communication policy. All athletes, parents, coaches, and other adults affiliated with the SGSG must review and agree to the policy. Each member club and each LSC is responsible for approving and implementing its own electronic communication policy. Electronic communication between athletes and coaches or other adult members must be between 8 am and 8 pm. Any one-on-one communication must include the minor athlete's parent or guardian.
 

Electronic Communication Policy of the San Gabriel Sea Gulls (SGSG) Swim Team PURPOSE
The SGSG 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 the Club acknowledges the value of these methods of communication, the Club also realizes that there are associated risks that must be considered when adults use these methods to communicate with minors.

 

GENERAL CONTENT All communications between a coach or other adult 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. For example, as with any communication with an athlete, electronic communication should not contain or relate to any of the following:
• drugs or alcohol use; • sexually-oriented conversation; sexually explicit language; sexual activity • the adult's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues, or personal problems; and • inappropriate or sexually explicit pictures • Note: Any communication concerning an athlete's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues or personal problems must be transparent, accessible and professional. Whether one is an athlete, coach, board member, or parent, 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 be clear, direct, and 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 there is no question regarding accessibility. Professional: All electronic communication between a coach and an athlete should be conducted professionally as a representa7ve 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 communica7on with athletes will be appropriate.


FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, BLOGS, AND SIMILAR SITES Coaches may have personal Facebook (or other social media site) pages, but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of the Club join their personal page 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. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to "private message" each other through Facebook. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to "instant message" through Facebook chat or other I.M. methods. The Club has an official Facebook page that athletes and their parents can "friend" for information and updates on team-related matters. Coaches are encouraged to set their pages to "private" to prevent athletes from accessing the coach's personal information.


TWITTER Best Practice: The Club does not have an official Twitter page that coaches, athletes, and parents can follow for news and updates on team-related matters. Head Coach George Young posts SGSG news on his account. Coaches are not permitted to follow athletes on Twitter. Likewise, athletes are not allowed to follow coaches on Twitter. Coaches and athletes are not allowed to "direct message" each other through Twitter.
 

TEXTING Subject to the general guidelines men7oned above, texting is allowed between coaches and athletes during the hours from 8 am and 8 pm. Texting only shall be used for communicating informa7on directly related to team activities.

EMAIL Athletes and coaches may use email to communicate between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm. When communicating with an athlete through email, a parent or another coach must also be copied.


REQUEST TO DISCONTINUE ALL ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS The parents or guardians of an athlete may request in writing that their child not be contacted by coaches through any form of electronic communication.