On February 2, 2006, Dr. Grayson Kimball, D.P.E. and sport psychology consultant, presented on behalf of GetPsychedSports.org, Inc., the following letter to the Sportsmanship Committee of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association signed by distinguished members of the educational, medical and political world.
In the interest of creating a more positive society, where anger, frustration and violence are lessened, the undersigned support an educational initiative to develop a statewide curriculum for coaches and text for students by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Sportsmanship Committee. In so doing, interscholastic athletics will take the first step toward having our children regularly practice the life-long mental skills required to exhibit self-control on the field of play and in our society.
Through the sciences of positive and sport psychology, both of which advise on techniques to control “thought” as a way of improving behavior or performance, athletics can equip today’s youth with the mental tools necessary for developing emotional health, which is defined, in part, as the ability to control thought, feeling and behavior. Sportsmanship is a key vehicle for teaching and practicing the mental toughness required to overcome anger and frustration that so often leads to unsportsmanlike behavior, not just in sport, but in all facets of our community.
The more young people who consciously practice controlling their thoughts, feeling and behavior, the greater chance they have in leading productive, successful lives. This team-teaching model, where all coaches teach the same basic skills, is ideally suited to sports where teamwork is a virtue held in high esteem. We strongly encourage the MIAA to act favorably on this proposal brought to you by GetPsychedSports.org, Inc.
Respectfully submitted by,
Joe DeNucci, Massachusetts State Auditor and former world-ranked middleweight boxer
Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University, Founder of Head Start Program and the Zigler Center for Child Development and Social Policy
Peter Roby, Director of the Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport In Society, member of MIAA’s Partners In Prevention
Richard Lapchick, Director, Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Director, National Consortium for Academics and Sports, University of Central Florida
Gary Doherty, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Framingham High School
Bob Sondheim, Athletic Director, Sharon High School
T.J. Williams, Director of Athletics, Newton North High School
Ronald Lanham, Director of Athletics, Newton South High School
Nancy O’Neil, Athletics Director, Lincoln-Sudbury High School
J. Mitchell Finnegan, Director of Department of Health & Physical Education, Lexington Public Schools, Head Boys Basketball Coach, Weston Public Schools
Stephen Phelps, Athletic Director, Rockville High School, Vernon, CT
Jim Marini, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools
Jeff Young, Superintendent, Newton Public Schools
Paul Levy, President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Steve Grogan, ex-Patriots quarterback, Board of Directors, GetPsychedSports.org, Inc.
Representative Peter Koutoujian, House Chair, Joint Committee on Public Health
Representative Ruth B. Balser, House Chair, Joint Committee on Mental Health & Substance Abuse
John Tobin, Boston City Councilor
Wayne Levy, Director of Community Relations, Boston Celtics
Kathy Delaney-Smith, Harvard University, Head Women’s Basketball Coach
Chris Lynch, Boston Youth Sports Coordinator, Boston Youth Sports Initiative, Boston After School & Beyond
Mark Poster, MD, Psychiatrist, Private Practice, West Newton, MA.
Neil Murphy, Assistant Director of Athletics, Harvard University
Monique Houde, Founder, Choices For Tomorrow, member of MIAA’s Partners in Prevention
Steve Fine, President, Melanoma Education Foundation, member of MIAA’s Partners in Prevention
Here is how to start an educational athletics program:
- CONTACT US at GetPsychedSports,.org!
Any parent, coach, athletic director, league organizer, kid or any group who wants
to improve our children's sports' experience contacts us so you can get information,
support and advice;
- GetPsychedSports.org representative contacts board or person of authority to discuss the program or give presentation; NO ONE WILL REFER TO YOUR NAME UNLESS YOU WANT US TO!
- Teams, coaches, parents or boards are given
the workshop about the benefits of sports
psychology and of having a written curriculum;
- Evaluations of the program are reviewed and
changes made to fit each client or situation;
- High School adopts the full written curriculum
for its sports teams;
- The Athletic Director, the Superintendent of School,
the town newspaper, the leading citizens call for a
Youth Sports Summit for the community open to all town,
city and youth league administrators to formulate a
strategy which includes:
- Giving workshops to coaches, parents, kids to each league and/or team in the town or city;
- Establishing a Peer Leadership Program so that high school students interact with
younger children in youth leagues explaining what is to be learned from sport.
WITH PROPER FUNDING, THIS IS A WORKABLE PLAN TO IMPROVE OUR CHILDRENS' LIVES AND WHAT THEY TAKE AWAY FROM THEIR SPORTS EXPERIENCE!