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Emotional Injuries: The Pain Is No Less Real

Perhaps because the damage caused by emotional abuse in youth sports is not obvious, like sexual abuse, or immediately apparent, like a physical injury, its effect is often overlooked and minimized. But the damage is no less real, and, in fact, may be much more damaging and long-lasting.

Emotional abuse is a serious and widespread problem in youth sports and takes many forms: parents angrily criticizing their child's sports performance, coaches angrily yelling at a player for making a mistake, and youth athletes being teased or yelled at by a fan or seen a fan angrily yell at or tease another player.

MomsTeam has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce emotional abuse in youth sports. Our Emotional Injury Safety Center will continue to provide the latest information and advice on emotional injury prevention and a forum where everyone with a stake in the emotional well-being of children playing sports - whether it be parent, coach, official, administrator, pediatrician or mental health professional - can meet to exchange ideas and information and share concerns.

Together, we can go a long way to eliminating the incidences of emotional abuse in youth sports and make sure that we are doing everything possible to give our children the brightest possible future free of the effects of emotional injury.

                                -- Brooke de Lench, Founder and Editor-in-Chief