Best Practices


Best Practice Guidelines

The following Best Practice Guidelines are strongly recommended for all USA Swimming members.

  1. Parents should be encouraged to appropriately support their children’s swimming experience.

  2. All swimming practices should be open to observation by parents.

  3. Coaches should not initiate contact with or accept supervisory responsibility for athletes outside club programs and activities.

  4. When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, at the competition the coach and athlete should attempt to establish a “buddy” club to associate with during the competition and when away from the venue.

  5. Relationships of a peer-to-peer nature with any athletes should be avoided. For example, coaches should avoid sharing their own personal problems with athletes.

  6. Coaches and other non-athlete adult members should avoid horseplay and roughhousing with athletes.

  7. When a coach touches an athlete as part of instruction, the coach should do so in direct view of others and inform the athlete of what he/she is doing prior to the initial contact. Touching athletes should be minimized outside the boundaries of what is considered normal instruction. Appropriate interaction would include high fives, fist bumps, side-to-side hugs and handshakes.

  8. Coaches should avoid having athletes as their favorites. They should also avoid creating a situation that could be perceived as them having favorites.

  9. Gift-giving, providing special favors or showing favoritism to individual athletes is strongly discouraged.

As of 5_5_2020


LOCKER ROOMS AND CHANGING AREAS – Monitoring and Enforcement Procedures
Except for athletes on the same team or athletes attending the same competition, at no time are unrelated Applicable Adults permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing area, except under emergency circumstances.
The facilities that SNOW practices in have separate bathroom facilities for the coaches and parents to use.
Monitoring: The Snow will regularly and randomly monitor the use of locker rooms and changing areas to ensure compliance with MAAPP policies. 
1. Locker rooms and changing areas may be monitored by conducting a sweep of the locker room or changing area before athletes arrive and the facility staff making occasional sweeps of the locker rooms or changing areas with women checking on female locker rooms and men checking on male locker rooms. 
2. When a minor athlete goes to the locker room or changing area during practice and competition the athlete will take a buddy with them. If the minor athletes do not return in a timely fashion, a coach will check on the minor athlete’s whereabouts.
Enforcement of Proper Procedural Behavior:
If there is an infraction or the athletes or adults do not follow these rules, a report will be made to the SNOW Safe Sport Coordinator, the coach and if applicable, the facility management. The coach and the safe sport coordinator will decide on whether a warning, a suspension or a dismissal is appropriate. Parents will be contacted in all cases involving SNOW athletes.