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PCA Presents: Coaches Crossing The Line

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When coaches cross the line into physical or verbal abuse, they negatively affect athletes' abilities to develop through sports. In this PCA Google+ Hangout, four panelists discuss how coaches at all levels can avoid crossing the line.

NBA Coach Lionel Hollins reminds coaches that their first responsibility is to teach sports and life lessons. Winning is a byproduct of this process. Coaches who focus too much on winning run the risk of pushing the boundaries of appropriate behavior.

Mike Farley, who once vied for a roster spot in an NFL training camp, shares his experience in high school, enduring a coach who was demeaning and unsupportive at a formative time of his life. He also talks about this “default” coaching style that society accepts as normal due to media images of fiery coaches.

Neda Weems joins the discussion by introducing three key strategies that coaches should utilize to avoid crossing the line into abuse. The first is approaching practice and games with the appropriate mindset. Secondly, if you’re unhappy with something at practice, coaches should address the root cause of this problem discreetly with an individual player. And finally, head coaches should rely on the entire coaching staff for support and to make sure they stay within the confines of appropriate behavior.

Finally, Jim Perry, the A.D. at Huntington Beach Union High School District, reveals what he looks for and expects when he hires new coaches. He stresses the idea that a coach should be “demanding without being demeaning.” It is up to the administrators, leaders and athletic directors to find the right coaches to maintain a positive culture for the athletes.

Panel Members:
David Jacobson (Moderator), Positive Coaching Alliance
Lionel Hollins, NBA Head Coach Mike Farley, Former NFL Training Camp Invitee
Neda Weems, AAU Coach
Jim Perry, High School Athletic Director