Protect your Coaching Business with an Athlete Waiver [Plus a Free Draft Template]
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As a private sports coach, you understand the importance of protecting yourself and your athletes from potential risks and liabilities. One essential tool for safeguarding your coaching business is an athlete waiver. In this blog post, we'll introduce you to the benefits of having a well-drafted athlete waiver and provide you with a customizable athlete waiver template to make your coaching experience smoother and more secure.
The Importance of an Athlete Waiver
Athlete waivers, also known as liability waivers or release of liability forms, are legal documents that outline the potential risks involved in sports training and acknowledge the athlete's understanding of these risks. They also typically waive the athlete's right to sue you, the coach, or your organization for any injuries or accidents that may occur during training sessions or competitions.
Why should every sports coach have an athlete waiver in place?
- Legal Protection: An athlete waiver serves as a vital layer of legal protection for you as a coach. It helps shield you from liability claims related to injuries, accidents, or other unforeseen events that could occur during training sessions or events.
- Clear Communication: A well-drafted waiver helps set clear expectations for both you and your athletes. It ensures that athletes are aware of the inherent risks involved in sports training and are willing to assume those risks voluntarily.
- Professionalism: Having a professionally crafted athlete waiver demonstrates your commitment to safety and professionalism. It instills confidence in athletes and their parents, showing that you take their well-being seriously.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have a comprehensive athlete waiver in place can provide peace of mind. You can focus on coaching and developing your athletes without constantly worrying about legal issues.
How best to ask your athletes to sign a waiver.
For many coaches who don't yet have a waiver in place, it can be awkward to all of a sudden ask clients to sign one, especially if they are friends. So how do you ask?
The best way is simply to say that you spoke with a legal professional about your business and they are requiring that you put something in place. It takes the decision out of your hands and into the hands of someone whose full-time job is to make sure businesses are protected from legal risk. Keep it simple, be honest and transparent, and the conversation should be easy!
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Athlete Waiver Template
To help you get started, we've created a basic athlete waiver template that you can customize to meet your specific coaching needs. Please keep in mind that this template is for informational purposes only, and we recommend consulting with a legal professional to ensure it complies with your local laws and regulations. Here's a simplified version of the template:
[Your Coaching Business Letterhead]
AMATEUR ATHLETIC WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY
READ BEFORE SIGNING
In consideration of being allowed to participate in any way in the training program of_____________________________ (“Coach”) and any and all related events and activities, the undersigned acknowledges, appreciates, and agrees that:
The risks of injury and illness (including physical injuries and communicable diseases such as MRSA, influenza, and COVID-19) from the activities involved in this program are significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce these risks, the risks of serious injury and illness do exist; and,I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or others, and assume full responsibility for my participation; and,I willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If, however, I observe any unusual significant hazard during my presence or participation, I will remove myself from participation and bring such to the attention of the nearest official immediately; and,I, for myself and on behalf of my heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS the Coach and, if applicable, its officers, officials, agents, and/or employees, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and if applicable, owners and lessors of premises used to conduct the event (“RELEASEES”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY,ILLNESS, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT, FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS TERMS, UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS BY SIGNING IT, AND SIGN IT FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY WITHOUT ANY INDUCEMENT.
Participant Name: _________________________________________________
So should you have your athletes sign a waiver?
Yes, having a well-drafted athlete waiver in place is a crucial step in protecting both you and your athletes. While this template can serve as a starting point, we strongly recommend consulting with a legal professional to ensure that your waiver complies with all relevant laws and adequately addresses the unique aspects of your coaching business. By prioritizing safety and professionalism, you can build trust with your athletes and focus on what you do best—coaching them to reach their full potential.
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