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Know The Difference Between Negative Coaching And Abusive Coaching

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"Later in a game, the girls were not hitting well and the coach said, "if you can't bleeping hit, I may as well put X player in." The pitcher in that game pitched well through most of the game, but started to fade and the other team caught up. We ended up losing and in the after game meeting in front of the entire team, that player was specifically called out for losing the game. She was also asked to come to practice the next week with an explanation as to how/why she lost the game for the team.

My daughter has hopes of playing at the college level and I am curious to know whether this kind of coach player interaction is something we/she should expect to continue as she gets older and competition gets tougher? Is this just the way it is and we should learn to deal with it? I don't want to teach my daughter that quitting is ok just because things are not going well, but I have raised my concerns about the negative attitude and nothing changes."

PCA Response by PCA Lead Trainer, Joe Terrasi

Swearing at children and emotionally manipulating children is abuse. Taking your account of the story at face value, I would ask, would you accept this type of approach from your daughter’s math teacher?

If there is even a question that your child is being abused, it would be wise to remove your child from the situation at least until the adults involved (possibly with the help of counselors or other professionals) can ensure that the situation is safe for your child.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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