Monday, October 24, 2011

Secondhand TV

I read an interesting article in the Monday, October 24th, USA Today regarding "secondhand" exposure to TV. Intersting in the way that researchers are warning us about the dangers of watching TV when young children are with in eye or earshot. The Americn Academy of Pediatrics says that it hurts their language development....interesting!

It also reminded me of an interview I conducted for the soon to be released online course, 2 GRO-W Champions, with Dr. Max Trenerry, a noted consultant in Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and a Sport Psychology Consultant for US Youth Soccer’s Region II Girls Olympic Development Program.

The course which explores the topic of abuse, exposes a unique consequence of being a bystander to an abusive relationship. Dr. Trenerry say's, "The issue of secondhand abuse or background anger or unresolved anger in the coaching or training environment is really important, especially for young athletes. ... And we know that when young athletes, that are not even involved in the situation, witness and experience, an angry conversation between two adults or between a coach and another athlete, that the athletes around that are adversely affected. What seems to happen is that if the situation is left unresolved so that the anger and the issue surrounding it are not brought to some sort of resolution; there isn’t some sort of agreement and the relationship is left hanging, hanging and angry. That adversely affects the athlete's mood and that will affect their performance. It will be diminished by that. So in situations where a coach has an angry interaction with an athlete, or for that matter a parent having an angry interaction with a coach, another parent, their own child, or another athlete, that will affect everyone around them. It affects the younger athletes more, of course, because they have less experience in life. So their sense of themselves isn't as secure as an adult. An adult might walk away from one of these things, and may feel bad about it. But the child is left in a situation where the authorities around them have been angry and they haven't brought the issue to any kind of focus or resolution that's productive, and so it turns out to be harmful."

After conducting the interview with Dr. Trenerry, I talked to my youngest daughter asking her about how she feels when a coach yells at a skater on a session in which she is practicing. "It makes me sad for them (the skater) and I try to stay away from that end of the ice," she said. When I asked her about future session, she said she just stays away. Interestingly enough I recalled telling her she needed to use all the ice and not just one end one time and I remember her telling me she didn't like skating on the other side. I really didn't put two and two together until today.

This is an interesting concept. Does anyone out there have an opinion on this?

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