Recently, there have been several scandals in children’s and youth sports at once. In Chita, a well-known coach and martial arts champion committed suicide after some parents of his students went to the police after seeing bruises on their children. However, the fault of this particular coach has not been proven. And in Italy, the gymnastics federation, together with the prosecutor’s office, launched an investigation into cases of ill-treatment of coaches with gymnasts. The scandal began with the fact that the girls told how the coach humiliated them about their weight.

Is it possible to achieve sports success through violence and cruelty? Do you need records at this price? Where is the line between demanding and cruelty? When should parents intervene in the relationship between a coach and his student? answered questions Professor of the Department of Developmental Psychology, State Psychological and Pedagogical University Natalya Avdeeva.

Teacher: authoritative, but not authoritarian

– Natalya Nikolaevna, how can a coach and teacher not cross this line, beyond which violence begins?

— A good teacher should be exacting and strict. Especially with a coach. He must teach children to overcome difficulties, to overcome themselves, to learn to control themselves. What is categorically unacceptable is any kind of violence, including psychological. It’s one thing when the coach convinces: “You can do it, I’m sure of you, try again.” And another thing is when he shouts: “What are you, an idiot? It can even be small.”

Therefore, there should be no verbal violence – insults, ridicule, depreciation, etc. As well as emotional violence, when the coach expresses negative emotions towards the student – contempt, anger, anger. Devaluing a child and treating him as a thing that should be spinning at the wave of a magic wand of a teacher is unacceptable.

– In Italy, gymnasts have now gone to court because the coach scoffed, called names for being overweight …

– There was a common opinion that a coach should be authoritarian and tough. Otherwise, there will be no results. This is not true. There are coaches who treat children with respect, and their pupils achieve very good results. For example, Tatyana Tarasova in figure skating. For her, all the wards are like her own children. There are other examples as well. The teacher should be authoritative, not authoritarian.

The child must be treated with respect. And the coach must show this, set the child up to the fact that he has potential, abilities, and he must realize them.

– There are men’s sports where injuries occur regularly, and coaches in the same hockey behave tough with the guys.

– Yes, this is a tough male sport, and power moves are allowed in it. Therefore, relations with coaches, probably, cannot be too good-natured either.

But girls are very sensitive to the assessment of their appearance. Because of their age, they may have internal conflicts and complexes about this. They are often insecure. Of course, against the background of the fact that the coach constantly gives negative assessments of their appearance, this self-doubt will only increase and, as a result, reduce the ability and opportunity to prove themselves. The main thing is that this can have a great impact in the future and result in psychological trauma.

How to notice the problem?

– How can parents suspect that a child is suffering from a difficult relationship with a coach?

– Usually this can be seen in the mood of the child when he came after training. It is necessary to distinguish between when he is tired, and when he is offended or offended by something, depressed, when his mood is greatly reduced after a workout. You need to pay attention to this and find out the reasons. In any case, parents should be aware of what is happening in training.

The fact is that the child then begins to somehow shirk classes: “I won’t go today, I don’t feel well.” He begins to have anxiety due to the fact that he needs to go to training, where he receives some negative impressions and emotions. He even physiologically can quicken breathing, heartbeat. That is, the very thought of training, of what will happen there, already causes some kind of stress. All this parents can see. Maybe the load is very high, maybe the team members laugh and offend, the coach devalues ​​or scolds, other children join in, and bullying begins.

It is optimal when the child wants to go to training, when it gives him joy and pleasure. And when he begins to resist this, then it is necessary to find the reason. Sometimes it can even be caused by health problems. For example, the coach thinks that the child does not want to, but he can no longer, he is at the limit of his strength. Especially as a mature body. Parents should worry about psychological health, and about physical health, and not just about records and overcoming themselves. They should be attentive and sensitive to the child, always be on his side. Sometimes it’s the other way around: parents team up with a coach, and then the child has nowhere to go at all.

– Some parents believe that hard training will help build character and grow a champion.

– It is rather a path to psychological trauma and neurosis.