UPDATE: The coaches of the vaunted Oregon Ducks football team have taken
a no-yelling approach.
Imagine this scenario: A teacher, let’s say a middle school math teacher – an adult, trained educator – stands off to the side of a classroom, yelling at students as they try
to complete a geometry test. “Good, good. Yes, A squared times B squared equals…?
You can do this. No, not a rectangle. that’s a trapezoid! Come on! What are you doing? We’ve practiced this.”
And yet, coaches – adult, trained educators – do this kind of yelling from the sidelines during volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball and softball games. Why? Why would we never dream of screaming at students in the middle of a debate or a lab experiment, but have no problem doing so during an athletic event?
This The Atlantic article calls out some coaches as “the real bullies at school.” Thought provoking. Demeaning language and harsh coaching methods: are they harmless? “They're children; it can't be good for them.” (Some links below.)
This article, too, follows the same theme: “Our kids are being emotionally destroyed.”
I truly believe that this kind of negative coaching behavior is rare at SOIS, though I shamefully admit that I am guilty of having acted this way before on more than one occasion. Now, older and as a parent of Sabers athletes, I am more mindful of coaches’ behavior, especially my own.
- Sabers Sportsmanship
- Safe4Athletes handbook (website)
- Safe4Athletes handbook (pdf; full version)
- Study about effectiveness of ethical and abusive coaching styles
- The Good, the Bad, the Ugly "Specific behavioral and attitudinal frequency data suggest that there are significant ethical problems occurring in many youth sport programs."