Why do we allow bullying to flourish in kids sports?

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIn the cellphone video, a teenage boy stands at the front of the classroom as his football teammates laugh. The coach walks to the door and closes it.“We don’t want no witnesses,” he says, to more laughter. After hesitating, the boy complies with the coach’s orders to close his eyes and clasp his hands behind his head. Then the coach punches him in the stomach. The boy doubles over and falls to the floor as his teammates laugh some more.The clip, shot at California’s Beaumont High School, made headlines after it was turned over to local police in October.Equally shocking, however, were the expressions of support by many of the players and their parents, who downplayed the incident and lauded the coach, Will Martin, for his mentoring influence.“If it’s so bad, why are the kids laughing?” one mom asked, while another parent characterized Martin as a “man of God.”Martin’s behavior may be an extreme example, but physical and emotional bullying by youth coaches is often still accepted or even defended as a way to improve performance and build character.Some coaches use exercise as punishment, including one in Des Moines, who was subsequently fired for it in 2012.And verbal abuse by coaches such as name-calling and belittling players is common at all levels of sports. Of course, most coaches are hard-working, well-meaning and passionate about sports.Those who do end up bullying may simply be frustrated or misguided about athlete development.But when they do bully players, we have a responsibility to avoid defending or normalizing it.I have a son who plays high school varsity football, and I was sickened not just by the clip of the Beaumont High School coach, but by the parents who defended his behavior.A teen who’s been punched in the stomach by his coach has already been failed once by adults and doesn’t need to be failed again.Lisa L. Lewis is a writer based in Southern California. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Players may hesitate to speak up for fear of retaliation. And parents who do so risk being seen as helicopter parents, Fraser noted.And in fact, there’s no evidence to suggest that this type of domineering coaching is what wins championships.Instead, coaches who use positive methods have a better track record of keeping kids from dropping out of youth sports, increasing player engagement and developing skills and character, which in turn help teams win.The nonprofit Positive Coaching Alliance, based in Mountain View, California, and featuring an all-star advisory board lineup that includes winning coaches, such as Phil Jackson, Bruce Bochy and Steve Mariucci, calls this double-goal coaching, which focuses on winning and even more so on teaching life lessons. Similarly, experts believe the best way to combat old-school coaching is through education. Coaches often get frustrated and resort to dictatorial techniques because they lack other tools.Requirements for high school coaches vary by state – in Illinois , for example, prospective coaches only need coaching certification if they don’t already have an Illinois teaching, school counseling or similar certificate.And in Hawaii , the governing body for high school sports only requires that coaches participating in state championship events take a “Fundamentals of Coaching” course and allows them two years to do so, even though they’re coaching players in the interim.center_img The course is offered by the National Federation of State High School Associations, which oversees interscholastic sports federations in each state and the District of Columbia and is one of the main groups offering courses to meet these varying state requirements.Dan Schuster, who oversees educational services for the association, noted that the fundamentals course addresses bullying in the context of providing a safe and respectful environment and refers coaches to additional optional resources on the topic.In addition to educating coaches, though, we need to look at the broader culture that’s made these bullying behaviors seem acceptable.Rationalizing it through a “win at all costs” mind-set or accepting that it’s embedded in competitive sports – particularly in aggressive ones like football – only perpetuates it.We need to make sure that when we talk about bullying, we’re clear about exactly what that means.In a paper published last month in the Sport Journal, Charles Bachand noted that being able to determine whether bullying in sports is increasing or decreasing depends on having a standard definition.Some of the research to date doesn’t even include key components such as the imbalance of power inherent in the coach-player dynamic, Bachand pointed out. In one study of 800 youth athletes, more than a third of the respondents said their coaches had yelled at a kid angrily for making a mistake, and 4 percent said the coach had hit, kicked or slapped someone on the team.(The authors note that if their sample is seen as representative of the larger population of youth athletes, this equates to close to 2 million kids being on the receiving end of this type of physical bullying each year.)In any other setting, that behavior would immediately be recognized as physical abuse, noted Jennifer Fraser, the author of “Teaching Bullies: Zero Tolerance on the Court or in the Classroom.”“Imagine two women in a staff meeting,” she suggested. “Would this be seen as motivating? Would she (the victim) be a better employee as a result?” In many cases, coaches are simply replicating what was done to them or may be taking out their frustration on their players.For kids and adolescents, the impact of being yelled at and belittled — or having a coach slap kick or even punch them — is long-lasting.(Even though the majority of the research looks at peer-to-peer bullying, the dynamic in coach-player bullying is consistent with the imbalance of power that’s generally used in definitions of bullying.)last_img read more

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2020-10-20

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Adopt Olympic spirit in promoting peace

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe whole world is watching Pyeongchang. The Olympic games are a powerful symbol of international cooperation and goodwill, while the spirit of the games represents the possibility of peace and progress in our time. Hope like that, especially on the Korean peninsula, is something sorely needed in these dark times. Despite the clear possibility for shared progress towards peace, President Trump and his administration seem to be doing all they can to stifle it. From disparaging other nations as s-holes, to spurning international agreements, to seeking to make nuclear war easier to wage, Trump has done all he can to trample on the international goodwill. In short, Donald Trump and his team are the antithesis of the Olympic spirit.As disheartening as outbursts from the president are, it is within our power to reverse the damage he has done; Congress has a wealth of options to do just that. I’m calling on our members of Congress to demand the administration focus on diplomacy rather than military bluster, to oppose the nuclear agenda set forth by Trump at every dangerous turn, and to censure his derogatory rhetoric. Perhaps if we learned from the Olympic spirit rather than spat on it, we would find ourselves in a much less scary world. Sylvia BarnardAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFeds: Albany man sentenced for role in romance scamlast_img read more

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2020-10-20

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Clinging to the coal pit

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2020-10-20

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Insignia beefs up £840m fund business

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2020-10-20

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Top JLL man joins Quintain

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2020-10-20

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East Midlands: Talk of the towns

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2020-10-20

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The market in minutes

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2020-10-20

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JLL chief Peacock quits to rebuild marriage

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2020-10-20

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Natuna schools resume activities as Wuhan evacuees are quarantined in regency

first_imgNatuna regional secretary Wan Siswadi issued a circular mandating a school break lasting from Feb. 3 to Feb. 17 for all elementary and high schools located near Bunguran Island, where the evacuees are being quarantined.Read also: Natuna closes schools as Wuhan evacuees put under quarantine in regencyThe Home Ministry responded to the issuance of the first circular by instructing the Natuna administration to revoke it and resume schooling in the area. The instruction was conveyed in a telegram sent by the ministry’s regional autonomy director general, Akmal Malik, on Monday on behalf of Home Minister Tito Karnavian.”The school break policy will disrupt the student’s learning process,” Akmal wrote in the telegram. The government evacuated on Sunday 243 people from the virus-hit region using a Batik Air Airbus A330. The evacuees comprised 242 Indonesian citizens, including five Foreign Ministry officials, and one non-citizen. They arrived at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands on Sunday morning and were immediately airlifted to Natuna by the Air Force.The authorities have provided adequate temporary housing at a military base in Natuna for the returnees, who are under continuous observation. The evacuees will stay there for 14 days to allow them to be observed throughout the virus’ estimated incubation period. (gis)Topics : Natuna Education Agency in Riau Islands has revoked a circular issued by the regency’s regional secretary ordering schools to dismiss their classes for two weeks after the regency was officially named a quarantine and observation zone for 243 evacuees from Wuhan and surrounding cities in Hubei province, China.The agency issued another circular on Monday stipulating the revocation of the previous circular.”All learning activities [in schools] resume normally starting Feb. 4,” said the circular, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post.last_img read more

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2020-10-19

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Indians light lamps to heed Modi’s call for coronavirus comradeship

first_imgThe move came even as US President Donald Trump urged Modi in a phone call to release supplies of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which is being tested as a possible treatment for patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.”The two leaders agreed to remain in touch on the issue of global supply chains for critical pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and to ensure they continue to function as smoothly as possible during the global health crisis,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Saturday.In a briefing note on the conversation, India said the two leaders “agreed to deploy the full strength of the India–US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19.”Bangladesh stimulus The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Asia, home to roughly 1.9 billion people, topped 7,000 on Sunday, even as the death toll from the respiratory disease rose to 149 in the region.While the figures are relatively low in comparison with the United States, China, Italy and Spain, health experts fear that the spread of the pandemic in South Asia could overwhelm already weak public health systems in the region.Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday unveiled a 727.50 billion taka ($8.56 billion) stimulus package to help the economy weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”The amount is equivalent to 2.52 percent of gross domestic product,” Hasina said in a televised address.Reuters reported earlier this month that Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel producer after China, was set to lose roughly $6 billion in export revenue this financial year amid order cancellations from some of the world’s largest brands and retailers.Bangladesh has recorded 88 cases of the disease, with nine deaths.Following are government figures on the spread of the coronavirus in South Asia:* India has 3,577 cases, including 83 deaths* Pakistan has 3,059 cases, including 45 deaths* Afghanistan has 349 cases, including 7 deaths* Sri Lanka has 175 cases, including 5 deaths* Bangladesh has 88 cases, including 9 deaths* Maldives has 19 cases and no deaths* Nepal has nine cases and no deaths* Bhutan has five cases and no deaths  Millions of Indians turned off their lights and lit up balconies and doorsteps with lamps, candles and flashlights on Sunday, in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to “challenge the darkness” spread by the coronavirus crisis.Modi, who imposed a three-week long nationwide lockdown on March 25, asked all citizens to turn out their lights for nine minutes at 9 p.m. local time on Sunday, and to display lamps and candles in a show of solidarity.Modi’s call was met with a huge response, with many people lighting up their balconies. Others lit firecrackers, played musical instruments, and sang patriotic songs. Grid data showed India’s national power consumption plunging more than a quarter in a matter of minutes. The show of unity came as the total number of coronavirus cases in India increased to 3,577, while the death toll rose to 83.Some officials have warned that lockdowns could continue beyond April 14 in parts of India where new cases have been detected.With the number of cases continuing to increase daily, India restricted the export of most diagnostic testing kits.The government, which in recent weeks already banned the export of certain medicines, along with ventilators, masks and other protective gear needed by both patients and medical staff, issued the latest directive late on Saturday.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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2020-10-19

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