Taking Steps To Prevent Bullying in Sports Kids
Bullying is an epidemic in our society today.
Bullying is especially rampant in sports.
A recent survey of high school students across the U.S. found that 48% of respondents had been subjected to hazing–a form of bullying in which kids are humiliated or required to take part in dangerous activities. Much of this hazing happens in sports, the study found.
Young athletes may be bullied by adults, as well as peers.
Youth coaches often yell at, tease, humiliate and intimidate kids.
Bullying is a sure-fire way to hurt young athletes’ confidence and enjoyment of sports.
In fact, many kids who are bullied drop out of sports.
Parents have told us they don’t know what to do to help their kids deal with bullies–or how to prevent them from quitting when they’re targets.
Paul Coughlin, a sports dad and coach, says his son quit playing soccer because two of the kids on the team picked on his son repeatedly. “They made fun of his hair and what he was wearing,” he says.
In this case, the bullies were physically advanced, and used that power to put other kids down, he says. “It was awful for us as parents. We felt powerless,” says Coughlin, now an anti-bullying advocate.
Not only are the less physically advanced athletes targets of bullies. So are gifted athletes.
Bullies try to hurt gifted athletes because they’re jealous.
Kirsten, a sports mom, says a group of jealous boys tried to beat up her son. They also stole his belongings, damaged his belongings, and described sexual acts to him.
Kids, parents and coaches should not tolerate bullies. But dealing with them is tricky. That’s because kids are afraid and embarrassed to talk about being bullied.
What’s more, bullies are crafty and it’s hard to catch them. And schools, sports teams and other organizations often turn a blind eye to bullies.
Here at the Ultimate Sports Parent, we’re developing a series of resources to show parents and coaches how to help kids stay mentally tough in the face of bullies.
We’re also working on resources specifically for young athletes, aimed at helping them stay mentally tough in the likely event that they’ll deal with this challenge at some point in sports.
We’ll reveal more details of our new program later, but our aim is to provide practical, proven sports psychology tips for helping kids stay confident, focused and on track when bullies target them.
Right now, we need your help!
Do you have any stories to share with us about bullying?
You might discuss the following:
- Have your kids or any of their friends ever been the target of bullies—peers or coaches–in sports?
- How did this treatment affect the young athletes? How did it influence their confidence or focus?
- How did you as parents and your kids’ coaches deal with this?
- Were your efforts successful in putting an end to the bullying?
We’d appreciate it if you post your comments on our blog below.
Thanks for your input. Stay tuned for more bullying resources very soon.
P.S. One last question: Do you suspect or worry your young athlete may be bullied in sports, but feel he or she is too embarrassed to tell you? Please post your comments below!
Help Your Young Athletes Overcome Self-Doubt In Sports!
The Confident Sports Kid helps young athletes improve confidence quickly and overcome common confidence killers that destroy motivation and fun in sports!
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athletes’ performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one that teaches sports parents how to boost their kids’ confidence, and another that teaches young athletes age 8 to 12 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more.
What are sports parents and coaches saying?
“Each Race He Was More Calm, Composed, And Relaxed”
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful programs. My son Kai was one of the fastest 10 and under swimmers in Southern California and after he “aged up” to the 11-12 group he really lost confidence swimming against the much faster and bigger boys. He started with the Confident Sports Kids series and really enjoyed each and every lesson. He then started the Composed Kid series and built on the important building blocks that he was using from the first series. I so happy to report that Kai was able to swim to best times in each and every event he swam at the biggest and most important meet of the year in So Cal, the Club Championships. Each race he was more calm, composed, and relaxed. The final race was one that he was ranked last and one of his goals was to try for top 16…he was 49th! He cut over 4 seconds off his time ending up in 17th. He was ecstatic to say the least.”
Help Your Young Athletes Let Go of Mistakes and Cope With Frustration!
Do your sports kid shut down or act like the Incredible Hulk after they make just one mistake that no one notices?
Are you fed up with your young athletes’ self-destructive behavior?
Check out: The Composed Sports Kid
The Composed Sports Kid system is 2 programs in one.
- 1 program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure
- 1 program that teaches young athletes (ages 8-12) how to improve composure, let go of mistakes quickly, have more self-acceptance and thus enjoy sports more!
What are sports parents and coaches saying?
“He Has Really Benefited From The Program”
“I recently purchased The Composed Sports Kid CD program for my son Jonathan who is 10. He is a skilled soccer player that was having issues with loss of control on occasion during games. He has really benefited from the program. He carries himself much better these days and even talks about his composure after the game to me before talking about the goals that he scores.”
~Dave, Sports Parent