Is Your Coach A Bully?

This article appeared in the (New York Times), titled “My Coach, The Bully“, written by:  Jan Hoffman, and it describes bullying.

When Dr. Nancy Swigonski, a pediatrician who often talks with families about bullying, saw a local high school coach yelling at players, calling them stupid and lazy, she tried to speak with her.

The coach went on the attack.

“She asked why I was in the gym.  All of a sudden it was about my behavior, not the coach’s,” said Dr. Swigonski, a professor of public health and pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine.  “I was put on the defensive. I realized that if I had such a hard time refocusing the conversation, I couldn’t imagine what most parents go through.” (She declined to identify the sport and the school, because her son recently graduated from there.)

Because of that experience, and because patients’ parents have long sought her advice about how to intervene in such situations, Dr. Swigonski and colleagues wrote a recent article in Pediatrics about how to take on coaches who bully young athletes.

“Coaches are supposed to be role models for our children,” she said.

Bullying is often defined as a sustained abuse of power.  Though most discussions have focused on bullying by school peers, it occurs in many contexts.  Athletic coaches in particular wield enormous power, and traditionally their toughness has been upheld as a virtue.

The remainder of this article:  NewYorkTimes.com 

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