Courtesy: USA Swimming
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Swimming is proud to announce a partnership with Futures Without Violence (FUTURES), a nonprofit organization with programs that empower individuals and organizations to end violence against women and children, to introduce the programs of Coaching Boys Into Men and Athletes as Leaders to the USA Swimming membership.
Coaching Boys Into Men and Athletes as Leaders provide curriculums for teams to encourage healthy relationships and promote leadership among athletes in the fight against sexual violence. These programs from FUTURES are scenario-based curriculums for coaches and mentors to use with their athletes to inspire change in their communities.
“We believe that sexual, physical and emotional abuse have no place in our sport, and it is everyone’s responsibility to be a part of preventing these situations from occurring,” USA Swimming Senior Manager of Safe Sport Liz Hahn said. “These programs provide a basis for adult leaders to have these conversations with teams. Conversations should include the kind of culture you have or want to have on your team, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, the steps to stop the inappropriate behavior or to get help.”
The Coaching Boys Into Men’s curriculum, the only evidence-based program endorsed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is meant for male coaches to discuss with their male-identifying athletes ages 12 and older. Athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men and because of these relationships, coaches are poised to positively influence how young men think and behave, both in and out of the pool. The Athletes as Leaders curriculum was created by Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center and is meant for female coaches or team mentors to run with their female-identifying athletes ages 12 and older. In this program, athletes are encouraged to be leaders in changing peer norms to a culture of safety and respect.
USA Swimming plans to use these programs as a base for a Safe Sport Team Talks initiative, building on the previous iteration known as Safe Sport Mondays where clubs were encouraged to hold monthly conversations about different team and Safe Sport-related issues. Hahn added: “the goal of this program is through regular conversations, members would discover Safe Sport is accessible and helpful in building strong, healthy and safe communities within their club.”
Coaches conduct a brief weekly or monthly conversation with athletes using the Coaching Boys Into Men weekly “Training Cards” or Athletes as Leaders scenarios. The full curriculums are free to use and can be printed from the USA Swimming website at https://www.usaswimming.org/safe-sport/safe-sport-team-talk. This page will be updated with new resources and a Frequently Asked Questions tab. For more information on how to integrate these programs into team discussions, please contact Elizabeth Hahn, Safe Sport Senior Manager at [email protected] or call 719-866-3542.