Intimidating coaches

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It's possible they have, but were too embarrassed to tell you.

It's important for you to be on the lookout for bully coaches and to take immediate action if you suspect your young athletes are being bullied. They can set their sights on kids who are overweight, small, or who lack confidence, for instance.

These coaches also target gifted athletes because they believe their approach will "toughen up" their athletes.

It's important to keep in mind that most volunteer coaches are not trained.

No, these coaches do NOT toughen up your young athletes, as they might insist. Actually, coaches who bully—either with harsh words or physical harm—can hurt young athletes’ self-esteem, undermine their social skills and make it hard for them to trust.

In some cases, these coaches can make kids feel anxious and depressed.

That makes kids focus too much on outcomes—such as the score or win.

Coaches who teach by being negative or intimidating can really hurt your kids’ confidence and enjoyment of sports.

Sadly, this type of behavior has often been viewed as “normal” when it comes to coaching, especially when the team wins and it becomes assumed that the aggressive coaching style is the of the success.

What Coach O’Connor did was wrong, regardless of how you spin it.

What’s more, coaches who use such negative feedback are generally focused too much on one thing: winning the game or competition.

They give kids the message that winning is everything.

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