The following is our YIM Volunteer Coach Training and Certification.  Please print the information out and sign at the end.  




YIM Volunteer Coach Training and Certification


We would like to welcome you to our Volunteer Coach Training and Certification for Reston Runners’ Youth In Motion (YIM) summer program.

Here at YIM, we strongly value the safety of children, the role of coaches, and the protection of our team members who work with children and families.  These values help create a safe environment  for children, families, and coaches to grow relationally with others. This training and certification information you will read below (and sign at the end acknowledging that you have read and understood the volunteer coach training) is an essential component to upholding these values.  Thank you for enhancing the community by investing your time, gifts, and resources into other people. We very much appreciate it.




We strive to provide the highest level of child protection and welfare possible, and it is our specific desire to provide a safe setting for our children and volunteers alike. This program has been implemented and is enforced to protect the welfare of all our members from potential issues stemming from abuse or neglect.

This training is used to supplement the background check process as part of our overall volunteer screening process.

While most associations perform mandatory criminal background checks of its volunteers, such inquiries only reveal prior known criminal behavior. And the most commonly used type of background checks vary in accuracy and don’t always uncover all suspicious activities.

All of our volunteers must take this training and become certified before being allowed to teach, lead, coach or be in the presence of our youth members.

This training should be taken during or after a background check has been performed and approved, but before a volunteer meets with any youth or at-risk participants whom he or she will be asked to supervise.

For parents, this means peace-of-mind in knowing that the volunteers working with their children are thoroughly screened and trained.

Most associations are acutely aware of the damage that can be done to their volunteers personal and professional reputations as a result of any public accusation of misconduct; whether true or not.

This training not only educates volunteers on important topics such as appropriate conduct, but also provides them with an ability to assess when certain conditions may create the risk of accusation.


Volunteer Responsibilities


Volunteer protection is provided as a result of 1) volunteer training, 2) certification and 3) continuing education in accordance with The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 which provides certain legal protection for volunteers who have been trained and certified, and act in accordance with a specific function. To protect volunteers, this training improves awareness of issues about child abuse prevention and child development, and certifies volunteers as required to work in key roles with and around children.

Volunteer protection laws vary by state and are complicated because of confusion over the scope of volunteer roles in each state. The term "volunteer" and the definition of volunteer duties, responsibilities and roles also vary. Many resources are available to help you determine the protection afforded you by the laws of the state where you reside.


Child Abuse


Child abuse has been defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child, or which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm, or any act or failure to act which presents a risk of the above.

Volunteers  are  our  most  valuable  asset,  and  second  only  to  the  protection  of  children,  their protection is also a priority.

Child  abuse  occurs  in  many  different  forms,  each  one reprehensible and potentially damaging to a child’s development and well-being. Not all forms of abuse are easily detected, so being aware of the different types of abuse is the first step toward prevention.

A child abuser may be an adult, an adolescent or even another child. Mistreatment and abuse may result in emotional scars that impair a child’s psychological growth and development. Most medical, professional, educators and legislators now recognize that abuse can take many forms, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • PHYSICAL: This is the Intentional infliction of bodily harm on another, the injuries from which may or may not be visible, and can include shaking, hitting, beating, and burning.
    • SEXUAL ABUSE: Is the violent or nonviolent exploitation of a child’s vulnerability and powerlessness in which the abuser is fully responsible for their actions and behavior involving touching and even non- touching.
    • TOUCHING: The fondling of a child or any other contact of a sexual nature.
    • NON-TOUCHING: This category includes verbal comments, pornographic material, obscene phone calls, exhibitionism, allowing the victim to witness sexual activity, and inappropriate verbal descriptions of sexual activity.
    • EMOTIONAL: Includes exposure to spoken and/or unspoken violence or emotional cruelty. Examples include belittling, irrational criticism, insults, humiliation, conveying messages that the child is worthless or unloved, putdowns, profanity, off-color jokes, being restrained, or being allowed or forced to abuse alcohol or drugs.
    • RITUALIZED: Physical, sexual, or psychological violations of a child are inflicted regularly, intentionally, and in a stylized way by the person(s) responsible for the child’s welfare. The abuser may appeal to   some higher authority or power to justify the abuse. Examples include cruel treatment of animals, repeated threats of harm to the child, other persons, and animals.
    • NEGLECT: Endangers a child's health, safety, or welfare through negligence. Examples include failure to provide basic care for a child, including food, clothing, health care, shelter, education, supervision, or even affection and affirmation of the person’s self-worth.
    • ABUSE OF A VULNERABLE ADULT — Can be defined using the same child abuse criteria as previously mentioned, but can also include the Intentional misuse of the victim’s financial resources, taking no regard for the continued well-being and/or financial security of the victim.


Prevention – Physical


Undoubtedly you’ve seen the player coming of the court or field of play who is tapped on the buttocks by the coach. Usually, neither coach nor player think anything of it, as it is probably intended as method of congratulating the player for an outstanding effort.

However for a child who is participating in sports for the first time such an act may be upsetting and cause the child to complain to his/her parent. As a volunteer, it is important to consider such factors including the cultural background of a child or parent for whom such an act may be considered insulting or cause for disgrace.

Corporal punishment is not allowed and should never be used, this includes, spanking, hitting, slapping or other physical threats. As a responsible adult, you must set and respect appropriate boundaries which will protect not only our children but you as well.

YIM’s specific policy regarding discipline issues is:

  • Establish good and positive behavior expectations on the very first day to set the tone. 
  • If a child’s unruly behavior is unsafe for him/her (or with other participants), or disrupts training to a point where training has to halt because of that child’s unruly behavior,  coaches may issue a verbal warning to the child in a firm (not yelling) tone emphasizing that we expect positive energy during training. 
  • If the unruly behavior continues, consider asking the child to sit out training for a couple minutes on the sideline.
  •  If the issue still persists, bring the issue to your age group leader or to one of the directors who will deal with the child and his/her parent.  If the parent is present during the child’s behavior problem, coaches may bring the child’s behavior issue directly to them if they prefer; however, please remember to keep your tone calm but firm while explaining the issue. 
  • Ultimately, if you are unsure how to handle a discipline issue, bring it up to your age group leader or to one of the directors.

Remember, many factors drive a child’s comfort-level when it comes to touching. These all change with time and include, but are not limited to, religious beliefs, social factors, family-driven rituals or beliefs, gender, age and prior experience

Some forms of touching could be considered acceptable as long as they are respectful and are done as an appropriate response to a particular situation.

Consider the following when determining the appropriateness of touching as a response to such an event

Touching must never include a child's private areas; that is the groin, breast or bottom. Never touch a child out of view of others. Any touching should be brief and intended to be insignificant and less than 2 seconds in duration. Respect any resistance from the child or their parent or supervisors to any form of touching. Inappropriate touching which is initiated by the child must be discouraged.

Examples of appropriate touching could include a hand slap or “high five” as a means of celebrating or acknowledging good performance or effort. Or, an arm slung loosely around a shoulder as means of  briefly providing encouragement, note however that this is not a hug.

A pat or slap on the buttocks, even if it is intended as an acknowledgement, is generally considered inappropriate and should be avoided. As should a physical contact when accompanied with a comment which is also inappropriate for example a high-five with the comment “you look great today.”

Remember, touching should always be done in accordance with the child's comfort level and permission. Use common sense; touching should always be in response to the need of the child, not the adult.


Prevention – Non-Physical


As a volunteer, sexual jokes or comments of a crude nature have no place and are not allowed. Such remarks can easily be misinterpreted leading to an allegation of abuse.

The use of obscene language is also not appropriate and should not be used. It simply is not needed. Our volunteers are mentors and should always strive to lead by example thus providing clear examples to our youth of the behavior which is expected by them.


Suspecting and Reporting Abuse


Some types of child abuse are very easily detected, while others are more difficult. Any instance of abuse however is taken very seriously and is strictly forbidden, will not be tolerated, and may result in termination and legal action.

Abuse, and specifically abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults is a criminal act, and for any instance of abuse the proper law-enforcement agencies will be notified.

If abuse is witnessed or suspected it is best to contact an administrator or other designated authority for guidance on how to best handle the situation.


Child Supervision


The old adage “there’s safety in numbers” has never been more true or applicable than when it comes to child supervision. The best way to prevent an accusation is to be in a position where your actions can be confirmed by others, this means:

  • Never taking a child out of sight of parents or others by yourself – such as to a restroom or other enclosed room.
  • In a situation where a child has fallen and may require assistance getting up, clearly state your intentions, or ask the child’s parent or supervisors for help and permission before touching the child.
  • Never take the child out of ear-shot of others for 1-on-1 conversations or consultation.
  • Never leave a child unattended at the end of an event such as a game or meeting. Parents are often late when picking their children up, it is your responsibility to make sure all children have been accounted for by their parents or designated supervisors.
  • Never allow a child to leave an event with anyone other than a parent or designated supervisor unless there has been a pre-arranged, and confirmed, agreement to do so.

It is our goal that a minimum of two unrelated adult volunteers will be in attendance at all times when children are being supervised during our programs and activities. We do not allow children to be alone with one adult on our premises or in any sponsored activity unless prearranged and approved by that child's adult or supervisor.

Also, never leave the group unattended, for example to escort a child to the restroom. In such cases it is always better to ask another adult volunteer for assistance.


Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Use


The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 does not provide protection for a volunteer committing a criminal act involving alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs

It is illegal for minors to use, possess or distribute alcohol, tobacco products or illegal drugs of any type.

Any adult who knowingly provides such substances to a minor is subject to criminal prosecution in accordance with laws of the state in which the act occurred.

Willing or not, as volunteers you may be looked upon as a role model by the children in your care

Younger children are impressionable and may attempt to mimic your behavior, while older children may use your behavior to justify their own actions.

As a volunteer you are expected to demonstrate exemplary behavior at all times

The consumption or use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal and prescription drugs while in the presence of children is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated.

Volunteers who observe children, parents or other volunteers using such substances while at a meeting or other sponsored event should report it immediately.


Risk Assessment


Before beginning any event such as a team meeting or sports event take a few minutes to look out for potential environmental and or physical hazards. Faulty lighting, liquid spills, broken glass and windows all are potentially dangerous unless the proper corrective action is taken.

Additionally, observing and addressing any participants’ pre-existing conditions or symptoms are equally critical to ensuring a safe event for all involved.

Familiarize yourself with emergency exists and any local emergency procedures. Remember that should an emergency occur people will rely on your guidance for safely dealing with it.

If the event is to be held outside, determine if the weather is likely to impact the event and be prepared to react accordingly. 

YIM’s specific Inclement Weather Policy is:

  • Track sessions will be held rain or shine.  However, we will not meet if there is lightning or if the temperature is over 100 degrees at 6:30 p.m.   We have seen every combination of weather event happen in the past; but, we never take for granted the session will be canceled.  More often than not, we are able to hold at least a partial session.  Parents of the participants make their own judgment call when the weather is questionable.  However, we do make every attempt to meet.  If lightning occurs in the middle of the session, we will cancel the program for that evening.  A cancellation during a session will be signaled using our sport horn.  This is why it is essential that parents DO NOT DROP OFF AND LEAVE their children; but rather help with our coaches or relax in the bleacher area.  When a session is canceled due to lightning, EVERYONE must leave the area immediately.  We will not update the website unless it is clear early on that conditions make it impossible to hold a session; however, we will send out an email notification as soon as possible to notify participants that a session has been canceled.


Dealing with Injuries


First aid is the help and medical assistance that someone gives, not only to an injured person or a person who may become sick. Knowing when and how to administer such aid requires the capability to not only assess the situation thoroughly, but also requires you to consider your ability to treat the injured, and make decisions quickly and remaining calm.

While we do not require our volunteers to know all of the techniques to administer first aid, knowing how to respond to an emergency situation can make a big difference in the outcome of it.

Preparedness is a key element of first aid - like having basic medical emergency kits in your car, office, or equipment bag. If you do not have a first-aid kit in your possession, take the time to know where the nearest one is located and how to access and use it.

Cuts, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds are one type of injury that typically require the kind of aid most people feel generally comfortable administering. Heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and heat stroke however are examples of very serious emergencies, and unless you have received formal training on how to deal with them, should be left to a medical professional.

Usually, minor injuries such as strains, slight abrasions, or pulls, are very common and can be treated using the R-I-C-E method of treatment. Which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Remember, knowing when and how to properly respond to medical emergencies could save a life.

The following information is very basic in nature and only provide high-level guidance, they are not intended to replace a professionally recognized first aid training course such as those offered by the Red Cross.

Bruises & Scrapes:

  • Usually bruises are nothing to worry about. They occur when blood vessels in the skin break, and the blood diffuses causing a noticeable discoloration and tenderness.
  • Typically bruises will fade in a few days. You can speed up healing the process by applying heat or commercially available creams to the affected area. Should the bruise darken or spread after several days, or if red lines or additional irritation appear, visit a doctor in case infection or blood poisoning has begun.
  • Another common injury scrapes and abrasions usually look worse than they are. They don't usually bleed too much, but can be quite painful for a few days.
  • Typical treatment consists of cleaning the wound and applying a topical cream. Should additional redness or irritation occur after a few days, have a doctor look at it to check for infection.


  • When joints turn in ways that they shouldn't, the muscles can become sprained. Intense pain and swelling occur, and the joint (usually the ankle or wrist) become more or less useless until it is healed.
  • Lesser injuries called strains can also occur; in the event of either, having a doctor check it out in case of breakage isn't a bad idea. For treatment, rest and don't use the affected joint, and apply heat and cold in intervals. An anti-inflammatory medication can be taken for both pain and swelling.


  • Broken bones are also a serious matter. Unless properly set, the bone can heal incorrectly, which can cause further internal injury and other long-term health effects. In the event of a broken bone or even a suspected broken bone, the victim should be taken to a doctor or hospital immediately for treatment.
  • Depending on the severity of the break it may be better to call 911 for assistance such as in injuries where the bone is visible.


  • Cuts and punctures most usually occur when a foreign object breaks or penetrates the skin. The severity of the injury can vary from minor to extreme. Minor cuts require very little care at all other than cleaning and bandaging, but any cut or puncture with more moderate bleeding calls for immediate medical attention. In the case of heavy bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean dry cloth until proper medical help can be provided.
  • Large wounds, even if they do not bleed an extreme amount, should still be treated by a professional in case stitches and additional care is needed. Punctures, even very small ones, should be monitored for a period of time after treatment because they tend to get infected easier than larger wounds

Blood Injuries:

  • There are many factors to consider when determining how to treat an injury or other situation involving excessive bleeding.
  • First, consider whether you are personally equipped and or capable of offering aid to the injured person without worsening the situation.
  • Next consider the safety of the other participants and whether they too are at risk by being near or around the injured or the area where the injury occurred.
  • Ultimately, the decision to treat a bloody injury is entirely up to you. It’s better to call for assistance in those cases you feel any doubt about your comfort-level or ability to respond as needed.
  • Should you decide to treat the injury yourself take precautions, such as thoroughly washing your hands or wearing protective gloves, before coming into direct contact with blood. This will protect both you and the injured
  • Make your intentions clear before beginning treatment and ask for assistance from other adults or capable persons.
  • As appropriate to avoid further injury, remove the injured from the scene and clean up any blood spills.
  • Before allowing the injured to resume participation in the event make sure all blood has been cleaned and thoroughly removed from clothing, surfaces or areas where others may come into direct contact with it.
  • Note the date, time, specific conditions, and corrective actions taken and report these to the appropriate personnel.


  • When someone receives a blow to the head they may get a concussion, which is a type of brain injury caused by the brain hitting the skull around it and disrupting normal function. They may become disoriented, they may suffer blurred vision, and they may black out. This is a very serious situation and can result in serious internal brain damage that by an untrained person is difficult to detect.
  • Though most people with concussions can recover on their own, severe concussions can cause brain damage or death. Never take a chance if you suspect that a concussion has occurred, treatment by a professional is absolutely required. It is always best to call 911 in these situations.

When to Call 911:

  • In a true medical crisis, every second counts.
  • These are examples of symptoms that constitute a medical emergency. Call 911 right away if you or companion experiences any of them. Doing so could save a life!
  • Remember, call 911 anytime you think someone could suffer serious harm or possibly die without receiving immediate medical help as it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

YIM’s specific Injury Policy is: 

  • If a participant seems to be in minor distress or needs first aid, one coach may take him/her to the YIM table to any director for first aid.  We will inform the parent (if parent was not present or not aware of minor accident/injury).  We have a first aid kit at the YIM table as well as ice and water.  The director will fill out an Accident/Injury Report Form.
  • If a participant has a serious accident/injury/emergency, call 911 (location to give is Herndon High School track located at 700 Bennett St in Herndon).  Notify the parents, the age group leader and directors immediately.  If unconscious, check for breathing and pulse.  If not breathing, provide CPR (if you do not know CPR or do not have another adult who knows CPR in immediate vicinity, Virginia is our CPR certified director).  If a back injury is possible, do not move the participant.  Other coaches should supervise the rest of the participants and keep them calm and occupied and away from the serious accident area.   The director will fill out an Accident/Injury Report Form.
  • The older age groups (9-14yrs) will sometimes run on trails outside the high school area.  Coaches should spread out among the participants so that no one gets lost.   One coach must have a walkie-talkie in case of emergency.  A director  will have the other walkie-talkie at the YIM table.
  • Teach participants about hydrating. Encourage them to drink plenty of water before and after the workout.  Encourage them to eat meals at least an hour before to allow time to digest before training.


Child Abduction Procedures


The following procedure is to be used if any staff member witnesses or is notified by another person that a child, youth, or vulnerable adult has been abducted or an abduction was attempted, from any activity taking place on our premises.

  • If a volunteer witnesses an attempted abduction or actual abduction of a child, youth or vulnerable adult by someone who is not that person’s parent, guardian, or other responsible party the following procedure should be used:
  • Make every attempt to intervene on the victim’s behalf without putting himself or herself or the victim in harm’s way. If necessary, ask for help from another adult.
  • Observe all notable characteristics of the abductor and any vehicles used by that person, and write them down immediately. This includes the name of the abductor, physical characteristics, make/model/color and license plate number of their vehicle. The more detail you can record the better.
  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Notify an administrator or whoever the “in-charge” person is.
  • If the incident does not occur on our premises, immediately notify the person in charge of the area where it took place, and have them contact the nearest law-enforcement agency with the information you recorded as instructed above.
  • The appropriately designated authority will immediately contact the victim’s parent, guardian, or other person or persons responsible for the child.
  • All members of staff present at the time of the incident should be prepared to make themselves available to answer any questions and or provided other assistance regarding the incident as requested by administrative and or law-enforcement personnel.










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