Is it “Emotional Abuse?”

We sit on the sidelines watching our kids being screamed at, yelled at, put down by their coaches, and humiliated in front of their teammates.  We know something isn’t right and ask ourselves, “Is this emotional abuse?”

There were so many times my gut was in knots because of things the coaches would say or do to my kids – nothing was sitting right with me.  But I didn’t know for sure whether it was my expectations on how they should talk and act toward my kid or if it was in fact emotional abuse.  I learned to go with my gut instinct because, EMOTIONAL ABUSE IS HARD TO DEFINE!

There is a gray area and many coaches push those limits in the gray.  You need to remember, the older your kid gets, the higher the level of competition which means the higher the level of abuse. It gets much worse out there, and parents; it is YOUR JOB to stop abusive behavior before it stops your kid from playing.

I WISH I HAD THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION EARLIER… without question I would have e-mailed it to my kid’s coach!  Maybe it would have helped.  There are some interesting facts that were produced by the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission.  They conducted a survey and found the following statistics about the incidences of abuse happening in youth sports.

  • 45.3% of males and females surveyed said they have been called names, yelled at or insulted while participating in sports
  • 17.5% of people surveyed said they have been hit, kicked or slapped while participating in sports
  • 21% said they have been pressured to play with an injury
  • 8.2% said they have been pressured to intentionally harm others while playing sports
  • 3.4% said they have been pressured into sex or sexual touching
  • 8% of all surveyed said they have been called names with sexual connotations while participating in sports

The end result is that there are more kids getting abused in youth sports today than any of us realize.  We all have to do our part to make our coaches aware of this and help them to understand the seriousness of the issue.  If they understand, maybe it will help them be more conscious of their actions before they engage in abusive behaviors.  Help your coach – share the information…

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