Sarasota Thug Coaches Sadly Not Unique

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Center for Ethical Youth Coaching aims to end abuses.

The Center for Ethical Youth Coaching’s passion to protect young athletes was flamed by the shocking reports of youth coaches attacking referees. Both the Huffington Post and Yahoo News featured dramatic video footage of adult coaches initiating a physical attack on a referee who made a bad call against their youth football team. One coach started the melee, was quickly joined by other adults, then the most disturbing image showed a young player in full pads pummeling another referee as the brawl escalated. Obviously, the youth was modeling the adults’ behavior that was displayed before him.

“Adults having been entrusted in a mentoring position with the youth of our community acting and behaving in that manner is totally unacceptable. I’ve seen minor stuff like this but nothing to this degree.” Said Col. Steve Burns of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Police.

The Center for Ethical Youth Coaching is committed to stopping this, “minor stuff” before it escalates into crisis situations such as this one in Sarasota.

“Looking at this video one wonders how these adults get entrusted with the mentoring of our kids. Obese, out-of-control of their anger, inappropriate adults leading kids into physical attacks, parents need to demand better for their kids. It is as simple as that. No one could see this coming? We should create zero tolerance of such thugs.” Says Dr. John Mayer, a clinical psychologist who specializes in youth violence.

New, not-for-profit Center for Ethical Youth Coaching is on a mission to end inappropriate adults training kids in sports. From coaches who blow smoke in the faces of kids that make mistakes to coaches that slap players, any parent who has had a child play sports has seen or heard of these abuses, yet parents seem helpless to stop inappropriate adults from coaching their children.

The Center for Ethical Youth Coaching (CEYC) has developed a comprehensive credentialing program to certify that a youth coach has met the highest ethical standards to safely coach young people.

To be certified, a coach must read a training manual and then take an exam both of which cover the areas of ethics, safety, first aid, good communication, sportsmanship, healthy lifestyle, discipline, developmental issues in young people and handling special issues in youth coaching such as dealing with parents, motivating players, child abuse, and substance abuse. The coach then passes a background check from the leading security screening service and pledges to uphold the ethical standards of the CEYC. The cost of the three-year certification is $75.00 and that covers the manual, test fees and background check. All procedures can be done online at the Center’s website.

“The manual alone is worth the price of the certification. It has innovative coaching techniques never offered anywhere else such as how to use each player on the team and still maximize success and the 5 stages of player development.” Said Andrew Teunis a high school lacrosse coach.

The manual and certification do not emphasize learning the techniques specific to an individual sport, rather its focus is on the safety, respect, character development and ethical treatment of the players by adult coaches. A certified ethical youth coach pledges to continue to be a student of the game (they coach) for their entire career.

After passing the examination a coach can use the initials, E.Y.C. after his/her name, on their uniform and on promotional materials.

“The success of our program will take the grassroots support of parents who have long suffered seeing their child hurt by these inappropriate adults. We urge parents to ask their park districts, their schools, their state associations and their sports clubs to only have E.Y.C. certified ethical youth coaches train their children. We need to start asking why aren’t these adults, in such sensitive positions in our children’s lives better trained and screened.” Comments Justin Mayer the founder and president of the Center for Ethical Youth Coaching.

Complete information on the new certification including information on the exam can be found on the certifying association’s web site:

The mission of the not-for-profit Center for Ethical Youth Coaching is to raise the ethical standards of coaches who work with young athletes, through research, publication, credentialing and public presentations. As a result of raising these ethical standards, young athletes will be in the best possible position to learn and grow through sports. Sports are a tremendous way to learn about life and develop life skills. It is therefore important that coaches are prepared to guide young athletes in the most ethical manner possible.


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