Tools to Help Parents and Coaches Keep Young Athletes Safe


Every young athlete deserves to be safe, supported, and strengthened. This idea is at the core of what the U.S. Center for SafeSport does in communities across America in its work to end abuse and misconduct for every athlete, everywhere.

Since the Center opened in 2017 to address abuse in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, the Center has produced scores of courses and resources for parents, coaches, and other athlete allies. At endabuseinsport.org, you’ll find practical, tactical tools to help you use your trusted position to keep kids safe.

How Can I Prevent Abuse?

By promoting strong and healthy relationships and by spotting emerging issues, you can help stop abuse. A few important principles that can guide your efforts include:

Make open communication a priority

Both with your child, and with other athletes across the team.

Watch how kids talk and act with each other at practices

See what insights you gain into their dynamics and interactions.

Expand your child’s circle of safe adults

Even if you are open with your child, they may feel shame telling you about something they feel they could have prevented or avoided. Help them think of adults they would feel comfortable talking to if they need help.

Parents: Ask how coaches treat or talk to your kids

Make sure to watch their body language as they speak.

Be sure all their sport activities are observable and interruptible

The Center’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPP) provide guidelines related to one-on-one interactions between adults and youth athletes that any sport or recreation organization can implement

Pay attention to your kids' social media activity

Remind them not to engage in cyberbullying, and be alert to signs they may be a victim of cyberbullying.

In addition to these tips, the Center offers more than a dozen abuse awareness and prevention courses through its SafeSportTrained.org learning portal.

From the 90-minute SafeSport Trained Core course—the gold standard for abuse prevention training taken by more than 2 million individuals—to short and relatable primers such as the Parent’s Guide to Misconduct in Sport, you’ll learn what it takes to prevent, recognize, and respond to abuse or misconduct in any sport setting.

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About The U.S. Center for SafeSport

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent nonprofit organization responsible for responding to and preventing emotional, physical, and sexual misconduct and abuse in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. The Center also serves as an educational resource for sports organizations at all levels, from recreational sports organizations to professional leagues. Learn more >

 

Disclaimer

Guest posts are provided by parents, coaches, admins, and athletes. They are a direct view of the author's views and experiences. They are not a direct reflection of NBC Sports Next's mission or beliefs.

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