From Triumph to Trauma: Tackling Abusive Coaching Head-On to Safeguard the Future of Youth and School Sports

BOSTON, Aug. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A pressing concern looms as a new school year approaches: the pervasive issue of physical and emotionally abusive coaching in school sports. EndAbusiveCoaching.Org, a non-profit organization committed to bringing modern science to coaching and thereby mitigating coaching abuse, is sounding the alarm on this critical issue that affects young athletes, tarnishing the joy of sports and endangering the well-being of future generations. Their breakthrough idea is to add a written science-based curriculum to all sports teams in each league or school district, something that has not been attempted before because, traditionally, coaches are all-powerful authorities on their teams.

In an era where the nurturing of character, teamwork, and empowerment should be the cornerstones of youth and school sports, abusive coaching has emerged as a disturbing impediment, leaving scars on young athletes’ physical and emotional health. A coalition of advocates, champions of fair play and safeguarding athlete welfare, are uniting to stand for research-based coaching and unequivocally against all anti-science practices, such as yelling at children to motivate them through fear.

“The halls of sport should echo with laughter, excitement, and respect, not reverberate with the anguish of intimidation and humiliation found on some teams. End Abusive Coaching.Org stands for bringing sports into the 21st century where sciences show the way to achieve in sport and other areas of life,” affirms Mitch Lyons, an advocate for the educational process known as social-emotional learning and Founder of EndAbusiveCoaching.Org. 

Khari Roulhac, President of and its initiative, EndAbusiveCoaching.Org, and a dedicated Massachusetts school administrator, says, “Coaches ought to serve as a lighthouse guiding athletes through their journey, not as a storm that capsizes their hopes and dreams. A written curriculum will help coach and player find proven methods to assist them.”

The dark specter of abusive coaching inflicts a litany of adverse impacts on young athletes:

Mental Health Precipice:     
With children’s mental health on everyone’s mind, the scars of abusive coaching manifest as heightened anxiety and dwindling self-confidence, resulting in impaired performance and overall well-being. 

Strangling Potential:           
Abusive coaching throttles ambition, deterring athletes from pursuing their utmost potential. Fear of retribution stifles creativity and thwarts competitive spirit.

Physical Perils:        
Pushing athletes beyond their limits or encouraging them to compete when injured can result in grievous injuries and lasting health issues.

Disrupted Team Synergy: 
 A toxic environment breeds discord and divisiveness, disrupting the delicate tapestry of teamwork.

EndAbusiveCoaching.Org is leading the charge to dismantle abusive coaching and install a modern alternative through two strategic actions:

Elevating Awareness:         
By collaborating closely with coaches, athletes, and the public, they unveil an alternative to the 19th-century model of all-powerful coaches and voiceless students by advocating for safe and supportive cultures on all teams.

Championing Legislation: 
They have gathered support for Massachusetts legislation called An Act to Remodel Public School Sports through Social Emotional Learning (S. 247/H. 516). It requires the Massachusetts Department of Education to publish guidelines to implement a research-based curriculum just for sports teams for interested school districts. Supporters consider this legislation pivotal in beginning a new era in youth and school sports that addresses abuse, hate, bias, and negative cultures. 

Some of those supporters are Rich Lapchick, founder of Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society and international leader of the sport boycott against South Africa. Kathy Delaney-Smith, coach of the Harvard Women’s Basketball team for 40 years, and Dr. Michael Yogman, retired chair of the Massachusetts American Academy of Pediatrics Child Mental Health Task Force. See for more support.

EndAbusiveCoaching.Org is at the vanguard of change, dedicated to nurturing a just, safe, and supportive landscape that meets the educational needs of students. Our fervent mission revolves around fostering young athletes’ triumphs while ensuring they are respected and treated equally.

Media Contact:
Hampton Bates Public Relations
Sylvia Hampton
Direct 617.413.6764
Office 603.570.4816

SOURCE EndAbusiveCoaching.Org