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Respect Campaign

Uniting against the ugly side of soccer

The Respect Code: Involving Young Players

You've been provided with a Respect code of conduct for young players.

However, if you really want young people to engage fully with Respect, then we encourage you to involve them in sharing their thoughts about their code and anything else they need to learn. This allows them to take greater ownership of the Respect code and be more aware of their actions. Any combination of the team's coach or manager and your club welfare officer can be involved in this.


1.  Let the team know you want to talk to them about having a Respect code.

2.  Agree a suitable time, communicate this to parents/guardians and players (this could be after a training session perhaps or broken down into more than one session if necessary).

3.  Have something for everyone to write on.

4.  Decide who is going to lead the session. If the meeting is with older teenagers you may want them to lead the session and you simply guide it.


Start with small group discussions; get them to work in pairs or small groups of three or four. Where you have younger children you may need an adult write down their ideas (but make sure the adults use the children's language, not their own!).

Use these four 'trigger questions' to start your discussions:

- What do you enjoy (makes you happy) about training sessions / matches? or What do you dislike about training sessions / matches?

Get the groups to write down their thoughts. Identify the most common points that have been shared so that everyone is aware of them and highlight the differences.

- How do you want people in the team to treat/speak to you?

If needed guide them into thinking about the concept of respecting each other and what this means on and off the pitch - at matches and training sessions.

List the suggestions and ask the group to think about/debate/decide which are their top five. Now you have their priority list but keep all the ideas; they may be useful later when you compare them to the Respect code.

- Is there anything else you think your code needs?

Allow the small groups to chat about this and then share their three favorite ideas.

The Respect code

Now compare what the players have come up with and The USRC Respect code. What similarities are there? Clarify where necessary that some words can mean the same thing. Encourage the team to sign up to the Respect code and acknowledge just how much they had identified for themselves.

And finally

Ask the group how they can remind themselves about the Respect code?

Possible ideas might include:

    •Respect posters in the changing rooms and clubhouse

    •A copy of the Respect code on the changing room wall

    •Players keep a copy of the Respect code

    •Captain, team manager or coach to remind the players about the code before


    •Respect code to be signed up to, at the start of every season

    •Introduce an award for the 'Respect player of the season' at each age group - i.e. a

     fair play award

    •Introduce an award for the 'Respect team of the season' within the club or league

     i.e. the team with the best disciplinary record.

Let the players know that everyone will have a Respect code of conduct - parents/supporters, coaches, team managers and club officials.

Help them to understand that Respect it's about making everyone responsible for their individual actions and ensuring they not only respect others, but the game of soccer itself.

Learn more about Respect

Download Educational Material


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