New Online Master's Degree Addresses Bullying in Coaching Profession

By Chris Hassan
Posted May 31, 2012 05:39 PM

New online master's degree program promotes positive coaching.
New online master's degree program promotes positive coaching.
Bullying in the nation’s schools is clearly a problem, but students are not the only ones capable of engaging in this aggressive behavior. While certainly not true of all, some coaching professionals’ can act in ways that paint them as bullies in the eyes of the young athletes they are meant to train and look out for.

In an effort to change the tone of youth coaching in the country, the University of Missouri will offer an online master's degree in positive coaching beginning in June, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. While the school’s website reports that the program is for professionals in the fields of athletic coaching, classroom teaching and counseling, it is ideal for anybody who wants to learn how to manage others without becoming negative or overbearing.

Rick McGuire, the university’s former head track and field coach, told the Tribune there are coaches who occasionally mask intimidation, humiliation and degradation as motivation. Even if they have the best of intentions, this behavior can have devastating effects on students.

According to, a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website, the effects of bullying can manifest themselves in the form of depression, lower grades and violent retaliation. This makes the need for programs like the master’s in positive coaching all the more important.

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