Coaching Coaches: An educational program to eliminate sexually violent language in high school coaching

Donna Duffy, UNCG, USA

Theme: Professional issues and ethics (AASP-related)

Program ID: SYM-13

Presentation: October 3, 2013 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Room: Elmwood


High school athletics are an important aspect of the school environment. To embody the educational values instilled during the school day coaching language and the messages being delivered to motivate high school athletes in practice and competitive settings should be instructional in nature with word choices free of violent language, derogating messages, and the normalization of violent sexual acts. The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA), North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), and UNC Greensboro (UNCG) aimed to enhance the leadership role that coaches (and by extension athletes) play in eliminating the normalization of gender- based sexual violence in athletic settings via the creation of an educational program for high school coaches in North Carolina. Workshop evaluations indicate the training of coaches to eliminate sexually violent language from their coaching efforts is effective. Over 80 percent of North Carolina high school coaches who went through the training report that they understood the importance of eliminating sexually violent language from their coaching efforts. More than 70 percent said they’d be able to recognize moderately aggressive and/or covert sexually violent language. More than half of participants said they’d know what to do to stop the use of violent language in athletic settings. Given the significant impact that high school coaches can have on their student-athletes during a critical time in their development, it is valuable to know that training programs may be used to curb the use of sexually violent language in High School sport.

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