• Abusive Behavior in Sport: When Does a Coach Cross the Line?

      Petersen, Susan C.; Gupilan, Margeaux; The College at Brockport (2017-12-18)
      Abstract The purpose of this synthesis is to review current research about how to identify, prevent and respond to an abusive coach. A total of 12 articles were used for this literature review. Literature suggests that coaches hold a significant position of power over their athletes (Misia, Rhind, & Luzar, 2016). There is reason to believe that coaches who have a certain type of coaching style have a higher chance of being emotionally, mentally, verbally, and physically abusive towards their athletes. This synthesis aims to identify what constitutes tough coaching vs. abusive coaching. From the literature review, a few major themes were noticed. These themes helped answer the research questions that were drawn up and provided the basis for the conclusions. Based on the literature the three conclusions were (1) the behaviors that reflect coaching abuse are accepted in sports when the intent of the coach is for the development and growth for the athlete; (2) teachers are trained and coaches are not always trained indicating a need for more formal training of coaches; and (3) high level athletes respond to different coaching styles that may include behaviors linked to coaching abuse and may, in fact prefer the behaviors. Techniques used within sports are purposefully used in order to teach and produce winning teams. Depending on the intent of coaches, these techniques are a part of the culture of sports. The intent to develop and push an athlete will come at a cost. Depending on the level of competition, some coaches and athletes will endure whatever it takes to win.