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Referee, 14, had nervous breakdown after abuse by coach - how would you react? | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Home » Groups » Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) » Forum » All other coaching children topics » Referee, 14, had nervous breakdown after abuse by coach - how would you react?
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Posted in: All other coaching children topics

Referee, 14, had nervous breakdown after abuse by coach - how would you react?

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  • robertkmaaye

    You may have seen in that The Times revealed that an Arsenal academy coach, was banned for 3 matches for shouting abuse at a young girl refereeing an under-9s match.

    There have been other cases that have been revealed in the news as well including this one (again via The Times) where a 14 year old referrer suffered a nervous breakdown after also being subjected to abuse by a coach.

    Has anyone been in a situation where they have witnessed a fellow coach doing this and is willing to share their experience?

    How did you react? What advice would you give others in such a situation?

    If you don’t have any direct experience but found yourself in such a scenario in the future what action do you think you would take?

    Be interested to hear people’s thoughts and experiences

  • Diddyditri

    This behaviour by parents and/ or athletes is unacceptable. 

    Do we need to look at why 14 yr olds are performing the role of the referee for childrens matches as currently is this an acceptable risk? We read on a reguar basis that some or indeed a few  adults are unable to control their emotions at sporting event. If we know this why put our teenagers at risk of abuse by being potentially subjected to unacceptable behaviour and possible emotionally abuse. 

     

  • Luana

    I would like to share my immediate experience with a similar situation you described, Rob. It might help someone in some way.

    It happened during the medal ceremony of a small domestic competition that is however of international character. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, completely informal. While I was talking with a good old friend, I heard shouting - and every single person in that room went silent and turned their heads to the screaming coach who was leaning over a little girl. I don't know what the "issue" was - maybe she didn't hear them calling her to go get the medal... Anyhow, that horrible minute of shouting got stuck in my head. I can't forget the girl's face and the look in her eyes. In that precise moment, I froze up. I couldn't move and all I was thinking about was if I should interfere. After all, isn't it rude and unprofessional to interfere in a relationship between a coach and his athlete? Who am I to criticize the coach? He might be a foreign head coach with numerous years of experience. I only just recently got a coaching diploma, so I don't feel competent enough to intervene.
    Since no one else reacted, I thought it might not be such a big deal, and that my feelings towards the situation may be deriving from a childhood trauma. The moment passed on, the shouting had stopped and the people continued with their conversations. So did I, not recognizing in that moment how ashamed I was because of my (non) reaction.

    Now that I thought about that situation, I know that I will never again allow that kind of behaviour pass along me. I think one should act upon any behaviour that doesn't fit their ethical and moral framework.

    How to react? I think the most effective way would be to firstly approach the coach in a calm state of mind, ask him to speak privately and try to find out what the reason for his shouting was. Even if the coach wouldn't recognize or admit his/her bad reaction, at least we would open up a possibility for others to express their similar concerns. Once it starts, a positive wave is difficult to stop.

  • LizBurkinshaw
    On 25/07/19 7:16 AM, Luana Blaslov said:

    I would like to share my immediate experience with a similar situation you described, Rob. It might help someone in some way.

    Luana, that sounds horrible. Totally unacceptable for a coach to be shouting like that to anyone. The coach was being abusive towards the child. This is something that needs reporting ( even after the event) to event organisers with an expectation that it is addressed.  

    Being a foreign coach is no excuse for abusive behaviour.

    Being a head coach is no excuse for abusive behaviour.

    Being an experienced coach is no excuse for abusive behaviour.

    If you feel you can I would recommend that you report this to the organiser as an official complaint ( it doesnt matter that everyone else didnt react) This is not great coaching, or in the interests of the child, or part of a safe environment for children or adults.

  • robertkmaaye
    On 25/07/19 7:16 AM, Luana Blaslov said:

    I would like to share my immediate experience with a similar situation you described, Rob. It might help someone in some way.

    Hi Luana. I echo everything Liz Burkinshaw has said! Deplorable for a coach to be shouting like that!  Thank you for sharing your experience so vividly it is greatly appreciated. I’m positive it will help someone reading this conversation thread who finds themselves in a similar situation smile

  • David_T

    I completely agree with Liz,

    I don't feel we should ever not feel comfortable challenging someone's behaviour in a situation like this.

    sometimes a picture paints a thousand words, so I feel this video says it best...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgi1ole4BB0&feature=youtu.be

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