Club Respect Tips for SMART steps

Smart tipsEvery club has experienced tricky situations. Be it an abusive spectator, an off-colour remark from a player — we’ve all been there.

Knowing how to look after yourself and others, while defusing the situation is key to maintaining a strong and respectful club culture.

No matter how well your club’s travelling, issues will surface. That’s normal. Some may bedifficult to handle and take time and energy to properly resolve. That’s normal too. It’s not easy, but bad behaviour needs to be called out. The bad behaviour by some people at your club isdistressing for many. There should be no excuses made for people who choose to behave poorly.

Word gets out, and the image of your club tarnishes in the wider community. So, what can youdo? There are strategies that you and your club can adopt to deal with bad behaviours, safelyand constructively.

Here’s some SMART tips for taking the heat out of the situation soeveryone can get back to enjoying the game, safely and respectfully.

The following page is an excerpt of practical tips from the Club Respect website.

Find more videos, how-tos and other resources for you and your club: LEARN MORE

SMART – Safe, Moderate, Actions, Role Modelling, Team/Training

Smart tips 2S

• Be safe; your own safety and that of others must come first.
• If you judge the situation to be unsafe, don’t feel pressured to take action of your ownand in the moment.
• However, if you feel that it is safe to take some action then getting your language right atthe outset is essential.


• Always be open to dialogue; try to appeal to reason, such as pointing out the harm thatis being done.
• Be calm and composed in your language.
• Speak in ways or language that will de-escalate the situation rather than aggravate.
• See below for some helpful starting statements


• Solutions oriented approach.
• At all times, try to be constructive.
• A third-party reference helps here, such as suggesting that your club’s Code of Conductdoesn’t permit us to speak or act in this way.
• Reporting is important; make sure a club official/security are across what has happened.


• It is important that at all times you model calm and respectful behaviour.
• Don’t drop your own standards.


• At all times, it is best to appeal to the idea of ‘team’.
• Your team, our team – and emphasise that team health is the best bet – always.
• Training at a club is never only about the sport, but also how a club continually strives toeducate its people.

Club Respect SMART language

The use of appropriate language is vital when approaching people who are behaving badly. It does not take much forsome of these people to get very defensive or even aggressive.

You need to always use ‘I’ or ‘we’ or “our club” statements rather than you.
•“I don’t like it when people yell at the players.”
•“We are a Club Respect club. We don’t yell at players.”
•“Our club code of conduct says no yelling at players”

You can then expand yourstatements to include supporting statements
• “We don’t yell at players because it decreases their performance”
• “Sledging and abuse hurts people. Our club encourages positivestatements: supporting”

Finally, see if you can bring some empathy to the situation.People who yell at the game are usually bringing frustration from other areas of their life
• If you can’t find empathy for the person involved, then a very good optionis to ask them; “Are you OK?”

Remember to always use the Club Respect SMART steps, particularly ensuring your personal safety is your greatest priority.

Click here to download the SMART STEPS