Don't Take Violence in Silence

Help for athletes who experience violence from coaches

Put an END to Violence

Are you part of a sports team? Or do you train singularly? Either way you have a voice to speak up if you or someone you know is experiencing violence or violent behavior with the coaching staff. Violence with a coach isn't limited to something physical, verbal abuse is a form of violence as well. This is NOT acceptable. Coaches are supposed to be role models.Sports violence is most prevalent in professional sports.It is recommend that coaches implement positive coaching strategies to foster feelings of team ownership among players, replacing the traditional authoritarian coach, and submissive players (McNamee, 2010). What are we teaching when we let our emotions get the best of us and resort to physical violence? "Sports violence can be defined as behavior which causes harm, occurs outside of the rules of the sport, and is unrelated to the competitive objectives of the sport (Leonard, 1998)." Physical educators and coaches are in a key position to lay the groundwork for positive attitudes in sports.Coaches should be alert to and praise improvement.

What is violence?

* Verbal Abuse (excessive yelling, screaming swearing)

* Bullying

* Sexual Misconduct

* Physical Harm

*Psychological Harm

How to get help?


* Children, talk to parents or school officials

* If you are in danger, call the police

* Talk to teammates to formulate a plan, work together

* Go to the commissioner of the particular sport

* Find help at the athletic department (director)

* Take legal action

Be the voice to end violence. Don't be silent, don't let bad coaches win. With the "Don't take violence in silence" campaign, use your voice to speak out against coaching violence. Coaches aren't successful without a team. If you or your teammates are victims of violence by your coach--call a coaches meeting. Involve whoever you can, that will listen. Don't be afraid to involve anyone that might be able to make a difference. Make it known that you will no longer give your best for a coach who uses violence and intimidation as a means to win. Use your voice and don't sit in silence. Together as a team, you can bring the focus to the coach and focus on getting the help that is needed. If nothing works, end the relationship with the coach and move on to find a team and a coach that treat their players with the respect that they deserve.

The measured success of this campaign will be coaches who are asked to attend coaches meetings', will understand that this is an intervention before possible termination. This will hopefully transition into athletes being able to come to coaches directly in a controlled environment to discuss grievances about violence.


Leonard, Wilbert Marcellus. (1988) A Sociological Perspective of Sport (Third Edition). New York, Macmillan Publishing Company.

McNamee, M. (2010). The ethics of sports: a reader. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.