Raise the issues with teachable moments

March 09, 2011, 12 a.m. (ET)

Last month’s NHL brawl between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins – including 10 player ejections and 346 penalty minutes assessed – raises two topics: the teaching opportunity such incidents provide for Responsible Coaches and Responsible Sports Parents; and the need to reinforce the idea of Honoring the Game.

Televised Teachable Moments

When you see media reports on negative sports incidents, it is important to capitalize on the opportunity to talk with youth athletes about what they are witnessing. One way is to assert what you think of the situation (“It is never OK to start a fight or retaliate.”) Another is to ask rather than tell (“How would you handle a situation where it seems someone wants to fight?”) Often, it is more powerful and lasting when youth athletes reach their own conclusions, rather than simply nodding their heads along with something their parents or coaches say.

Of course, the other opportunity watching sports together on TV is to point out positive examples of players respecting their teammates, opponents, the officials, and the rules.

Continue reading on ideas to use the teachable moments around us (TV or otherwise!) >>

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports ProgramTM (ResponsibleSports.com) powered by Positive Coaching Alliance (http://www.positivecoach.org).