Susan Lamboo, manager of coaching at Sport Manitoba, told 680 CJOB there is no training required for professional coaches, but in this province the process is extensive for those who want to coach amateur teams.
“Just because you were an athlete doesn’t mean you will be a good coach,” said Lamboo.
Over the past several weeks, several allegations about professional hockey coaches being abusive to their players have come to light, resulting in the firing of three NHL coaches.
Sport Manitoba requires people to take Respect in Sport training, Making Ethical Decisions training, sport-specific training, and go through a screening process before being able to coach. People also need to re-certify every five years, she said.
Yelling, swearing, and neglecting athletes are practices Respect in Sport and Making Ethical Decisions training work to undo.
“Norms in the past aren’t tolerated anymore and that’s becoming more and more apparent with the different things that are happening.”
The training Sport Manitoba has in place is meant to show potential coaches that abusive behaviour is not the way athletes learn or succeed.
Inaccurate depictions in TV shows or what people see in real life while visiting a rink can inadvertently encourage the abuse of athletes by a coach, added Lamboo.
“Professional coaches are role models for a lot of people,” she said.
“Some people will try and emulate that because they think that’s what makes a good coach.”
Lamboo said she is aware the recent NHL firings might turn people off from wanting to coach, in fear that if they say the wrong thing they’ll be negatively labeled.
“Coaches are needed,” she said. “Without volunteer coaches, sports for our athletes would die.”
She said it takes a good person to set aside the amount of time required to be the best coach for athletes in Manitoba, and opening the discussion from your experiences is necessary.
“It’s okay to talk about the behaviours, the bad behaviours, that are out there.”