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Advocating For a Written Sport Psychology Curriculum for Youth and School Sports Teams
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Bad News Daily
Pick up the newspaper today and you will most likely find a headline similar to those listed below. When will we have had enough?

Would these incidents occur with regularity if our goals in youth and school sport was was to practice creating a positive environment daily and controlling our thoughts? When we begin teaching these skills at an early age, as part of our sports education, we will have a long term plan to end violence in sport and in society in general. If we will educate kids now, we won't have to re-educate them as adults.

The American Acadmey of Family Physicians says “People with good emotional health are in control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships. They can keep problems in perspective. “

Are the people you read about in these headlines, and the angry people you see in the stands, on the sidelines, or in the games, in good "emotional health"? If we want people to be in control of their thoughts so they can control their behavior, we need children practicing doing exactly that, as it is easier to give in to anger and frustration than to control ourselves. To be mentally tough, young people should be taught to practice controlling thoughts that lead to behavior like the following:

U.S.World Cup team's Eddie Johnson, 22, said, in anticipation of the US vs. Italy match to be played on June 17th, "We're here for a war. We came here to battle, we came here to represent our country."

Johnson was asked whether he was comparing a sporting event to a war. "Yeah," he responded. "Whenever you put your jersey on and you look at your crest and the national anthem's going on, and you're playing against a different country, it's like you do or die, it's survival of the (fittest) over 90 minutes-plus. We're going to go out there and do whatever we've got to do, make tackles,do the things when the referee's not looking. ... to get three points." What are we teaching young people in this country through sports? June 15, 2006.

Parent attacks two softball coaches, Phillipsburg, NJ, May 4, 2006.

Students brawl after basketball game between heated rivals, Putnam County, NY, December 12, 2005.

Parent attacks coach after daughter cut from team, Shaker Heights, OH, November 10, 2005.

Coach shoots man after pulling boy from team, Montgomery, Alabama, October 19, 2005

Coach charged in paid beaning of eight-year old teammate in North Union Township, Pennsylvania, July 16, 2005

A former ice hockey captain for his high school team was sentenced to community service and will be banned from sports if he taunts players after admitting that he urinated on a teammate last season in Braintree, MA. June 9, 2005

Millis, MA father charged with threatening life of coach over son's playing time. May 7, 2005

Barnstable High School Hockey Coach charged in beating of referee during adult recreation league, April 8, 2005

Father in custody in Canton, Texas, after football coach/athletic director shot over sports dispute, April 8, 2005

Hockey players, parents, coaches involved in post-game brawl in Rayhnam, MA, February 26, 2005

Parents and students barred from attending championship hockey match between two Regional Technical schools, February 16, 2005

Players and fans repeatedly charge floor during Cape Cod basketball game, February, 2005, resulting in students being banned from games on the weekend of February 12-13, 2005

Nine charged in brawl at basketball game, Prattsville, Alabama, February 3, 2005

Sandwich student hospitalized after stabbing at postgame brawl in Sandwich, Massachusetts, January 18, 2005

Hockey fans taunt opposing players causing melee between two Regional Technical schools, January 7, 2005

Father banned in youth hockey incident in Massachusetts, January 7, 2005

THE TRIFECTA OF IMPROPRIETY IN JUST SIX DAYS- Fans and Indiana and Detroit professional basketball players brawl, Clemson-South Carolina college football players brawl, Coventry-West Warwick Rhode Island high school football players brawl. November 20, 2004 through November 26, 2004.

"Three Students face charges in incident on team bus", Peabody, October, 2004

"Nine football players suspended from school after hazing freshmen" on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, September, 2004

"Youth football coach resigns over hazing" in Massapequa, Long Island. He and another player taped a 14 year old player and covered him in peanut butter, August, 2004

"Clemens asked to leave after arguing call; Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens was asked to leave a youth baseball game over the weekend for arguing a close call that went against his son's team" Associated Press Report, August 2, 2004

"Coach charged in hosting underage drinking party as a celebration on winning state championship", June 22, 2004

"Verbal abuse and neglectful supervision charged against a coach, superintendent, and a Board of Education", March 24, 2004.

"Rink may require armed police", March 13, 2004

"Hockey Coach accused of assaulting referee", March 2, 2004

"Sodomy Shocker at High School" September 18, 2003

"Problems at Little League games evident for some time", May 17, 2003

"Little League Board bans coach indefinitely for umpire attack"
April 23, 2002

"Coach goes into stands and punches heckler from stands"
April 14, 2002

"Alleged hazing details revealed"
Jan. 22, 2002

"Player Assaulted By Parent at Soccer Game"
October 23, 2001

"Win (or else) - A Story of Drafting Players at Age 7"
July 8, 2001

"Spring, Sports and Stress"
May 18, 2000

"Referee Arrested In Attack on Coach"
February 15, 2001

"Upset Parents Beat Up Mother of Son Who Scores Winning Run"
August 5, 2001

"Disorder, On and Off the Court"
March 11, 2001

"For Sports Fans, Science Finds, It's Not Just A Game"
August 22, 2000

"Hoop Nightmares"
March 5, 2000

"Parental Rage in Youth Sports Becoming A Nationwide Trend"
July 16, 2000

"Athletic Hiring Proves Divisive"
July 1, 2000

"Father's Beating at Ice Hockey Rink Turns to Homicide"
July 18, 2000

The Need
Every day, newspapers are littered with stories that show how sports can frequently cause frustration, anger and resentment in kids, parents, coaches and administrators.

Part of what creates this negativity is that each person (kids, parent or coach) joins the team for different reasons and with different expectations.

With a written sports psychology curriculum, everyone knows why they have joined the team and have the same general goals of improving their mental abilities for a life outside sport.

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