Prepping for Competition

Super Bowl XLVIII is fading off into the distance, the last bit of confetti has been scraped off the field, and the hats and jerseys tucked away until next year. Some may go into hiding until August where they will wait impatiently for preseason. However, some may use this time to turn their need for sports watching else ware. I wasn’t really referring to March Madness, but to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics or the 22nd Olympic Winter Games. This seems to have become a cringe worthy topic and rightfully so. I’m sure many are aware and have read about a great deal of negative and horrible conditions surrounding the games. It is sad that the environment and people of Sochi have been forgotten for billion dollar venues and buildings. As well as, the men and women who have trained for months and many for years for a chance to be able to say, “Olympics.”

I am a sports fanatic. I get chills hearing the national anthem, have the Olympic theme song playing in my head,  and get emotional hearing the stories of athletes. My phone’s ring tone used to be the theme song to “Chariots of Fire” and I am no longer allowed to pick out movies while with a group. They aren’t always sports based, but I’m like a moth to a flame. I get sucked in. However not every athletic endeavor is positive and not every athlete has always had the greatest experience.
Found in the NSVRC Library is a story that ran in Sports Illustrated published December 17, 2012 entitled, “Stand up and Speak Out” by Gary Smith. The article might be old to some, but baseball player R.A. Dickey and Judo Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison’s stories are powerful examples of overcoming child sexual abuse. Through their testimonies, many others have found the courage to come forward knowing that they are not alone.
This leads me to a couple of other fabulous resources. The “MVP Playbook for Female High School Students” and the “MVP Playbook for Male High School Students” by Jackson Katz uses a creative “bystander” approach to gender violence and bullying prevention. The intent of the program is to create discussion regarding ways to intervene, before, during and after instances of harassment and abusive behavior. The female version focuses on empowering young women as bystanders and supportive friends. The male version focuses on young men being empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers. If you are interested in these resources, you might also be interested in the Bystander Blog series that the NSVRC did with Jackson Katz.

Coaching Boys Into Men,” is another excellent resource by Futures Without Violence. The coaches’ kit in particular contains handouts, booklets, cards and a CD full of helpful resources for any coach. The resource also helps prepare coaches to teach their male athletes the importance of respect and non-violence through a series of twelve weekly trainings.

All of these resources mentioned can again be found at the NSVRC Library. They are excellent tools to learn from, as well as to teach others the importance of prevention and non-violence. The Super Bowl, the Olympics, and athletic competition can be exciting. However, we must continue to strive for a world of non-violence and expose the evil that can lie behind something that is clearly more than friendly competition. By using these resources and many others, we may be able to give the next generation of athletes and Olympians, a much more positive experience.  

Want to find out more? Contact the NSVRC library today!

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