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Negligence in Coaching

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James Smith

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When we grade the magnitude of impact of a professional we must account for all factors related to the impact itself.

As this regards coaching, particularly at the youth level, we must begin by acknowledging the behavioral impact on young people who, in the pre-adolescent stage, receive, according to evolutionary psychologists and biologists, a more profound behavioral impact from peers than they do their own parents. 

Now, square this against the influence from coaches who, even if they only interact with the youths twice per calendar week, are influencing them in such a way that must be recognized according to the degree in which the youths are interested in participating in the sport.

Thus, any youth athletes who are keenly interested in sport will, arguably, receive a substantial behavioral influence, by association, from their youth coach. I state this as a conjecture relative to the influence their peers have and the fact that the more peers they have who are also keenly interested in learning sport the more that social unit is focused on the direction from the coach. 

Further, we have the physical impact to account for which scales all the way up to the highest level of sport. 

What occurs in so many sports, around the world, without argument, is physical abuse; and the other thing that distinguishes this physical abuse from the type that occurs in domestic violence is that the bulk of what occurs in sport manifests through negligence as opposed to intent. 

In my argument, the potential for psychological, emotional, cognitive, and physical abuse from sport coaches overwhelms, by many orders of magnitude, any amount of incompetence that occurs at the level of, for example, a pediatrician, or any other sort of doctor, because sport coaches are, at once, in contact with groups of youths, young adults, or adults AND because the system of error correction that exists in the enterprises of medicine, science, technology...is simply absent in sport. 

It is the error correction, not found in sport, that explains the exponential growth of knowledge in STEM that has not occurred in sport.

Sport, unlike STEM, is rooted, more than anything, in dogmatism. The OPPOSITE of what allows STEM to flourish and the antithesis to progress. 

When we speak of the brain, behavior, and the body, and the potential damage done to each athlete by way of sport coaches who lack :

  • a critical rationalist epistemology that allows for cultures of criticism, creativity, and ongoing knowledge creation
  • emotional regulation to lead by calm-focused and demonstrate the merits of rational thinking, logic, and reason; all of which set an extraordinary behavioral example 
  • knowledge of behavioral subtypes and the effective language skills to modulate communication across various groups
  • cognitive awareness of pedagogical, heutagogical, and andragogical modes of teaching to optimize the tactical/technical development of groups of athletes who vary wildly in their cognitive disposition 
  • and the understanding of load engineering so as to optimize all modes of preparation for competition

Then perform the mathematical operation of accounting for all the athletes in the world, no matter the level, amateur/professional, from youth to the senior level, we can appreciate the amount of people on earth who, by way of their amateur or professional participation in sport, were/are/will be subject to varying degrees of psychological, emotional, cognitive, and physical abuse by an incompetent sport coach. 

...because, sport lacks both the system of error correction, that substantiates so many STEM domains and explains their fantastic progress, and a sufficient objective criteria, such as the one I outline in "The Governing Dynamics of Coaching", for establishing baseline coaching competency. 

The Governing Dynamics of Coaching on Vervante (suggested for international customers)

The Governing Dynamics of Coaching on Amazon

 

 

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