Staying Tough in The Face of Bully Coaches
We’ve warned you over and over that it’s critical to protect your young athletes from bullying in youth sports.
The firing this week of Mike Rice, Rutgers basketball coach, for physically kicking players, throwing balls at them, and verbally abusing them is a great example of how the system works and why parents need to be proactive.
Four months ago, Rice was suspended for three games and fined $50,000 for abuse and slurs, according to the New York Times. Athletic director Tim Pernetti told the New York Times that he erred in not taking stronger action and that he would “work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
While this is a college-level example, it mirrors what we’ve heard about the youth sports scene.
Administrators are often reluctant to fire coaches when parents accuse them of bullying. Sometimes, parents spend thousands on lawyers to seek justice, but they are few and far between.
Why should you worry about bullying in youth sports?
Kids of all types and abilities are targeted by sports bullies. Sometimes the small kids are targets. Sometimes the talented players are targets, because other kids are jealous.
Do you know if your kids are victims?
Parents need to be aware that coaches and kids bully in sports, and that it often has dire consequences:
Many bullied kids drop out of sports altogether.
To protect your children, be sure to ask about and interview coaches before signing your child up for teams. Attend practices and games, and keep a watchful eye out.
You should also be clear with your young athletes that you want to hear about any bullying that takes place on their teams. Often, kids don’t talk about it because they’re embarrassed. Keep the lines of communication as open as possible.
In addition, talk to other parents to stay abreast of what’s being said about bullying on your kids’ teams. And if you discover that your kids—or anyone on your kids’ team—is a target, take action by gathering some evidence and joining forces with other parents, if possible, to report the coach. For example, you might videotape a few games.
Want to learn more about how to stamp out bullying in sports?
We’ve got two options for you. First of all, you can check out our program, “Helping Young Athletes Stay Confident and Mentally Tough in the Face of Bullies,” here:
Another option: You can download this program for free if you become a member of Kids’ Sports Psychology, and you will also benefit from the articles we post in our bullying section.
What do sports parents say about our bullying resources?
“I really feel relieved to know that there is sound, sensitive advice for parents regarding the issues of sports and bullying. You make some very profound statements that really resonate with me as a parent and as an educator of young children including: “Fear is a mental game killer,” and “Coaches have the power to prevent bullying in teens” and “Coaches who are socially cruel encourage their kids to behave in the same manner.”
~ Sports Parent
Improve your sports parenting skills and fight bullying in sports!
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about all that we offer to help protect your kids from bullies in sports, click here:
How to Be Mentally Tough in The Face of Bullies
Bullying is out of control in sports and it can be destructive to our sports kids.
All kind son kids can be the targets of bullies:
- Gifted athletes are often targeted because others are jealous.
- Kids who are smaller and less physically advanced also can become the focus of bullies.
- When kids are competing for a ladder position on a team, bullying is also common.
- Girls taunt, tease, exclude, and hurt one another in sports just as much as boys do.
But bullies aren’t just kids… There are plenty of bully coaches too!
Bullying can not only cause kids to drop out of sports but it can also hurt their confidence in life.
We’ve developed a program to help you protect your kids from bullying!
You’ll learn numerous mental game skills to help your sports kids overcome bullying.
What are sports parents saying?
“We appreciate your newsletter so much. Especially with our son an elite athlete, it helps us so much. It helps us understand how he thinks, what he needs, and how not to become one of those typical sports parents.”
~Kirsten Lenko B.C., Canada
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 parents and coaches saying?
“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.”