Team Unity

By Responsible Sports | Aug. 31, 2010, 10:43 a.m. (ET)
Last month, Dallas Cowboys rookie Dez Bryant refused to participate in a team tradition of carrying the pads of the veterans, saying he was in training camp to catch passes, not carry pads. The issue garnered all kinds of national media attention. But what was striking wasn't his refusal to participate, but the very notion of team traditions - and the idea of when are traditions good for team unity, and when do they cross the line and become hazing. When are team initiations something more than good fun? And how do we as Responsible Coaches and Responsible Sport Parents help make sure the line isn't crossed?

With the fall wrestling season about to kick off, we turned to the experts at Positive Coaching Alliance to help us outline a series of guidelines that can help you set a responsible sports environment filled with positive traditions for your youth athletes.

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The Liberty Mutual Responsible SportsTM program supports volunteer youth sports coaches and parents who help our children succeed both on and off the mat. We offer many youth sports resources including $2,500 community grants, instructional videos, weekly tips, peer and expert advice, and coursework for those interested in improving the youth sports experience for all involved.