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New York school district allocates money for ’emotional support coaches’

November 5, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A New York school district is taking an unprecedented step by adding four “emotional support coaches” to its athletic program to work with student-athletes.

Peekskill City School District, 50 miles north of New York City, is using $13,000 in grant money to pay for the pilot program. The four new “coaches” are already employed in the district and are trained in social emotional learning, according to The Journal News.

Bob Colgate, director of sports and sports medicine for the NFHS, told the newspaper Peekskill is the first school district he’s aware of to make such a move. The support coaches will appear at high school varsity football and girls and boys basketball games.

From The Journal News:

With an emotional support coach on hand, athletic director Austin Goldberg predicts common negative responses to frustration will be reduced, players will enjoy games more and may, in turn, play better.

“A big push now is being better at the mental part of the game,” Goldberg said.

“Penalties and technical fouls, I believe the position will alleviate that,” he added, explaining the goal, in part, is to teach players to react differently when things go wrong.

Universities have adopted programs to help student-athletes deal with stress and anxiety, but this is unique. Mental training is becoming a bigger part of athletic preparation, so it’s worth watching how Peekskill’s pilot program is received.

School administrators plan to evaluate the program after the season and, if it proved successful, they could expand it into the spring, according to the newspaper.

Read the whole story from The Journal News.

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