The link between bullying and athletics

Watch Joel Haber, PhD's video on The link between bullying and athletics...
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The link between bullying and athletics

We've seen a huge proliferation of bullying in athletics, unfortunately. It may have been there all along. When I was young, there was a kid who used to throw a basketball at my head. It was pretty awful. The coach never saw it. I didn't know I was supposed to say anything about it. What happens now is that all the types of bullying we see in schools and camps, happening in sports; but all of it depends on the coach. When your children are playing sports, the coaches attitude creates a culture. Some coaches are so into competition and winning at all costs, that bullying is commonplace. Trash talk is a way that kids bully. Trash talk occurs when kids get really mean and hostile with each other, and make fun of how other kids performance is on the athletic field. That's not a fun thing, especially when a kid is really feeling bad, and it's affecting their performance. Unless your children are Olympic athletes, kids should be having fun. We should be working with coaches who want to have good sportsmanship and want to have a culture where kids enjoy themselves. Kids don't have to worry about ridicule. If you see that happening, talk to your coach about bullying. Say that my kid is not enjoying it. See if that coach is willing to put that up front, so that kids don't have to worry about what bullying behavior will do to them.

Watch Joel Haber, PhD's video on The link between bullying and athletics...


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Joel Haber, PhD

Psychologist, Bullying & Parenting Expert, Author

Dr. Joel Haber is a Clinical Psychologist and internationally recognized bully prevention and parenting expert. He was selected as a webinar leader and a speaker for the Obama Administration Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention initiative.  He was also an invited participant to the Second Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in 2011. His recent book, Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting and Bullying for Good set the bullying standard for schools, camps, sports, organizations and families dealing with bully prevention and intervention. He recently published The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive, Not Reactive Parenting.  He is a consultant and expert to the American Camp Association, and to LG Electronics as a member of (, providing cyberbullying and mobile harassment expertise to parents and families. He is an advisor to Cartoon Network’s anti-bully campaign: Stop Bullying: Speak Up.  He is an expert for No Snap Judgments: The Addams Family Broadway Show- National Campaign to promote acceptance and tolerance amongst our youth. He is also co-founder of Tool Kits for Kids (, recipient of five national parenting awards for helping parents and kids develop the tools and emotional life skills to overcome worry, build confidence and develop resilience. He has written and published extensively, speaking each year to thousands of parents and educators to help make children’s lives, safer and better. 

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