Teaching Life through Sport
Athletics are an incredible setting and tool for promoting health and wellness beyond competition. Despite some negative attention on youth sports, they provide vital life lessons that shape young people into productive members of the community.
It’s hard to find another endeavor that can provide as many benefits on so many levels to so many people than sports. They teach teamwork and healthy competition. They lead to growth that comes from winning and losing, respect for others, and develop leadership – all while creating fun, improving fitness, building self-esteem and confidence and enhancing social skills.
The level of trust and influence given to coaches, officials, administrators and other adults involved in youth sports is unrivaled. With that privilege comes a great responsibility. People notice what we say and, perhaps more importantly, what we do.
To that end, the TSSAA and the Program for Injury Prevention in Youth Sports (PIPYS) at Vanderbilt have identified a program, AMEND Together, that uses sports to empower young people to be better for one another.
AMEND Together is a long-term initiative of the YWCA to end violence against women and girls by engaging men. In Nashville alone, one report of domestic violence takes place every 20 minutes. According to the FBI’s latest supplementary homicide report, Tennessee ranks sixth among the states with highest murder rate of men killing women.
AMEND Together identifies, recruits, educates and equips coaches and athletes to be advocates for preventing violence and providing positive role models for young men and boys. The initiative provides hands-on tools to help men and boys change the language, behavior and mentality that perpetuate violence. Its leaders seek to change the culture and make Tennessee the safest state in the nation for women and girls.