Do You Know Who's Coaching Your Kids?
(The recent charges of sexual abuse against a long-time Penn State University football coach should give every parent pause as they ponder their own child's sport participation. Have you ever taken a hard look at who is coaching your child? Do you know what to expect from those coaching kids? What can you do to ensure children participate in a safe environment? A group of former athletes, who are now coaches, coaching educators and parents, believe that more needs to be done to protect our children. They offer some practical advice and tips that should be considered by all parents ~js)
The vast majority of coaches are positive influences in the lives of our children, but there are always some who are not. We have the power to protect children against manipulative, ill-meaning adults. Yet, it is very possible that we are not taking the very first step - as parents we often do not know who is coaching our children. Pilot data from West Virginia University researcher Dr. Kristen Dieffenbach has revealed that nearly 66% of parents assume (but have not directly asked to find out) that coaches are qualified, certified, and have been screened. Not asking allows those that would harm our children to continue to do so.