Exploring Lived Experience of Abusive Behavior among Youth Hockey Coaches
This study explores the causes and solutions to youth hockey coaches’ abusive behavior, particularly shouting, swearing, and punishing. It draws on extensive literature regarding youth sports, Positive Youth Development, coaching behaviors, emotional abuse, and the culture of hockey. The issue was approached from four perspectives: players, parents, referees, and coaches. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and written questionnaires, then transcribed and coded through numerous readings to determine common themes. Perceived reasons for abusive coaching predominantly included “they coach as they were coached,” the “culture of hockey,” and “pressure to win,” with “ego,” “poor communication skills,” “lack of maturity,” and “substance abuse at the low end of the scale. Proposed solutions focused overwhelmingly on emphasizing Positive Youth Development.