Book Release – Rescue Me: A Powerful Memoir by an OlympianApril 11, 2022
The Role of Integrity in Combating Abuse in Sport
After tirelessly addressing the issue of abuse in sport while working with athletes and teams over the years, patterns started to appear that were common to every athlete, coach or parent that came to me for help. The issue almost inevitably boiled down to “integrity.”
What do I mean by that, if an athlete isn’t speaking up, that in itself is being out of integrity? It would be lying by omission. If a coach is driven based on accomplishment at the cost of overlooking the athlete, is that not being out of integrity? If a parent is driven to make sure their kid gets a scholarship or equivalent while overlooking the child’s well-being, is that not being out of integrity? Those are just a few examples where a stakeholder in that scenario are out of integrity. When one part of the system is out of integrity then the whole system breaks down. A broken system is vulnerable to abuse.
After seeing these patterns consistently in sport, I felt it was prudent to start to address the issue where the issue ultimately resides with the stakeholder who is out of integrity with themselves. With that in mind a formula started to develop, to move integrity through the system. There are few ways to address the issue, one is directly with the athlete that is vulnerable to abuse and the other other is to engage the team as a whole. Either option addresses a culture issue and the ability to speaks ones truth in a meaningful way that creates impact on the individual as well as the team. Teaching personal accountability and how to be in it is the starting point for change. Talent and drive have a way of blinding you from the truth and the world around you. We work with you to take off the veil and see how you are impacting your environment collectively and individually.
Silence is not integrity, it is in fact giving your voice away and ones power away. When you can speak your truth the impact is profound; you become the “power.” We can advocate all we like, and create policy after policy but if we don’t empower athletes to speak and take actions that will raise their voices then we are taking away the voice they so desperately need to become the person that they are meant to be.
Our structure is designed to develop that voice to move any issue through the system individually or collectively, from setting a culture of integrity. Our Athlete Integrity Life Coaching goes deeper to develop the “whole athlete”, thus removing blocks that were preventing the athlete’s from thriving in and out of sport. If after working with athletes and the issue is stuck or has not changed we move to mediation. We have worked with Athlete/Coach (Coach/Athlete) to find integrity in sport and the situation.
When an athlete finds integrity, they learn how to take accountability for their own choices, they learn how to connect with their coach, parents and influencers with accountability and truth. The value of “athlete integrity” coaching is that it creates a strength in a voice that has often been weak. It beings a new level of professionalism to the athlete and the program. There can be no abuse in sport if all stakeholders have personal integrity.
Abuse and integrity cannot co-exist together.
For coaching Services and to learn more about how a team or individual athletes can benefit from our integrity coaching, visit our sister company Team Athlete IntegrityTeam Athlete Integrity and book Katherine for a complimentary session, today.