Tough love or verbal abuse? For coaches and parents, the new lines are hard to define.

Sports November 8, 2021 Sports
Tough love or verbal abuse? For coaches and parents, the new lines are hard to define.

From The Washington Post | Sportsby Roman Stubbs

DaLawn Parrish had rarely raised his voice at his players all night, but late in the fourth quarter, his team up 35 points, he saw an opportunity to teach a lesson.

His star running back, Dadrian Carter-Williams, had celebrated after he strolled in for his third touchdown of the game, dancing with a teammate as he returned to the sideline. Parrish approached to within five feet and started yelling.

“Next time, that’s going to be a flag and you’re going to be out of the game! What you just did!”

The world is different from when Parrish started coaching in the early 2000s. As society undergoes a cultural shift on appropriate behavior and discipline — with an increased awareness of mental health issues and the impact emotional abuse can have on young athletes — it also has sparked a debate over what the lines are in coaching. Not all stakeholders agree on where tough love ends and verbal abuse begins.

Photo by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post

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