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Today I read an article that was posted on Twitter and wanted to know your thoughts on the subject.
Teenagers are now turning from alcohol and drugs to self harming, eating disorders and not getting enough sleep.
The popularity of social media and computer games are to blame for the changes in childrens behaviour as well as Internet usage approaching levels of an addiction. A raise in cyber bullying and being exposed to Hate content , Self harming, and pro anorexia sites amongst teenage girls.
Whilst a chronic lack of sleep a decline in exercise among boy's and girl's the proportion of boys physical activity falling.
Government setting aside £1.25bn to improve young people's mental health over the next 5 year's.
Department of education is also promoting the use of counselling in schools and teaching about mental health.
As a coach do you think we should also be educated more about these problems amongst teenager's, how to recognise these issues.
Do you think in the sports world athletes are prone to issue like anorexia and self harming.
Have you ever had to deal with these issues with athletes if so how did it make you feel as a coach.
I absolutely think that coaches need more information in this area and what we mean by safeguarding and safeguarding training needs to evolve with new threats. For example look at this information I was signposted to from Misia Gervis from Brunel Uni...
•Admissions to hospital for eating disorders is up 8% compared to last year (2560 admissions)
• There are nine times as many females admitted to males
• For girls the most common age of admission was 15
• 76% of admissions were for anorexia
• 5% for bulimia
• 19% were for other eating disorders
• 1 in 20 females exhibit concerning eating habits (MIND)
Many years ago there wasn't the information about like there is today, now we need to learn from the information, help teenager's to overcome these problems and supporting them.
It's a sad world for some teenagers when they have nowhere to turn or to talk too.
That's a great point and also a challenge in itself - making sure that the right information can be accessed ans there is a lot of rumour and nonsense eout there too. e.g. coaches cannot touch children! Utter twaddle and the NSPCC never said that, despite being accused of it.
I was told as a coach that I'm not supposed to touch an athlete unless I had permission from the parent and athletes. .
I think as a coach or a teacher we probably spend as much time with children then parents do when children spend 6 hrs a day at school then in a afterschool sports club. We should be able to notice these sorts of problems.
When you look into what the government are saying about health, eat and being fit no wonder today's children are confused. Your either too fat or too skinny, not enough exercises or addicted. How are we expected to help teenager's when we are listening to tall stories.
Yes I just tend to say to the child, can I do this or can I move you there. Try to avoid it for coaching reasons (ensuring they understand and can replicate positions) rather than safeguarding reasons though.
In terms of modern threats, I really hope that we're able to make a success of online SPC renewal so that more and more topics can be added allowing coaches to bespoke their own journey!!
Emma here is a webinar Dr Mel Lang of Edge Hill unindid on adult-child touch in sport policy for me a few months ago. It's really useful I think
I think there are particular sports which have a certain aesthetic image - and most participants aspire to that.
Personally, this past year I have had experience with a pupil who has experienced an eating disorder. I had na inkling somethign was wrong when she started tell me that she had no appetite and was eating an apple a day. She was very open with it (which I saw as a good thing) and I knew she was being introduced to the relevant professionals via school and her parents. I didn't see her for many months as she was forbidden to exercise until she had gained weight and was in and out of hospital.
She has now returned to exercise and althought still small, has done great with her weight gain. Its such a delicate issue to address especially with teen girls as the media portray celebrities who are a certain shape / look. With her being open, i found it a little easier - I have told her to keep positive and see how far she has come and I am an ear to listen when she needs it - and I keep the sport low intensity and fun so she is still leanring but without the chance of burning out.
It's such a sad thing to witness - but I've certainly learnt from the experience and I know it will be likely that I come across something similar again, particularly with my sport being athletic and aesthetic
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