How Safe Is Your Player Off the Field?
By Life and Relationship Coach and Trainer Bruce Starr
Is your team or client safe once your players leave the field and decide what they will do with their personal time?
In just the first EIGHT months of 2014, 34 NFL players have been arrested! That would average one arrest per week. One of the reasons why? Professional athletes are coached on every level of being an athlete, but they have very little understanding or education on what it takes to be a responsible professional off the field! As one athlete recently told me, "We are told what to do right from the start. When we are left alone to figure out our personal lives, of course we are not very good at it!"
If you are a coach or agent and you are reading this and it is after ten PM, do you know where your professional athletes are? Do you know what they are doing? Without the kind of proper training and direction early in life that someone like Derek Jeter had from his mother and father, the player does not have enough “coaching or training” to make the right decisions for themselves when it comes to their personal lives. They have few healthy resources to build upon when it comes to personal relationships.
Why is Domestic Violence Increasing?
The main reason why younger people today, whether they are high profile athletes, celebrities or just average everyday Joe's, are being arrested for domestic violence stems from the breakdown of the American family unit. Families with two active parents know how difficult it is to be responsible, caring parents to their kids. They know how important it is for them to be around for the day to day activities to make sure their kids are learning the right tools to make it out of childhood and as an adult.
How difficult must it be when a child has only one parent, most likely a mother who is head of the household? If that mother is not well off, she alone will have to financially care for her children. What does a responsible mother do when she knows she is the only possible money maker in the family? She will have to take a job to put food on the table, but most jobs pay so little, she might have to take two or even three jobs to make ends meet.
What does that mean for her children when they come home from school? They are on their own! No matter how hard that mother tries, she must be attentive at her job and cannot be there or calling her children every few minutes to make sure they are doing the right thing. Even with my own ten year old daughter, who has received a great deal of attention from me her entire life, when I am out of sight, I see that she is doing what she wants when she wants to, no matter how much I am there for her.
The Reality for Most NFL Football Players
Many of the players in the league made a commitment to get themselves and their families out of the neighborhoods they grew up in. They know how much they were influenced by what their friends/even gang members told them about the facts of life as told by gang members is quite different from “facts of life” from people from non-gang environments. Most players who make it to the pros got their education about life, relationships and sexuality not from their responsible parents, but from their street friends and possibly gang members!
When they get to the NFL, and especially when they get their first paychecks, because they do not have anyone to teach them right from wrong “off the field,” they are going to make the same mistakes they made before, but now those mistakes will be televised around the world!
Social Lives of a Pro Athlete
Players are not looking out for their best interests when they join the guys at the clubs, bars or strip joints. In their minds, they want what the other players have been getting and they are willing to dive right into that arena as fast as they can and as soon as they can, leaving “common sense” behind.
What players are not thinking about is, when they go to those clubs, bars and strip joints, they are meeting young females who are there “on a mission” as well! Their mission is to get a pro athlete interested in them and they will do whatever they have to do, to get into a relationship with an athlete...to make lives easier for THEM!
NFL is trying to get players to stop being violent by punishment!
Post domestic violence punishment IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO STOP IT! The way to stop it is to get to the players before they go out into the world as public figures. If they do not have a healthy and proper perspective to know that looking for the wrong kind of girls at bars or clubs will eventually cost them dearly, they will continue to do it! They need coaching and training to let them know that relationships created in bars are generally not made of the right building blocks to create a firm and strong foundation for a committed, long-term, caring, dependable relationship!
When a relationship is built upon such a weak and fear based structure, if one of the “Players” whether it be the NFL'er or the person playing with him, changes their mind or has a “roving eye,” that can generally be enough to set off the violent interaction! If the female player fears she is going to lose her “paycheck for life” she so desired, she might be capable of doing just about anything to protect her claim. It could be participating in a physical altercation to committing murder. If he is about to lose the great sex and beautiful women who made him look so good to his fellow players, someone coming from a violent background could easily make the wrong choices on how to handle it.
Coaches and consultants are used in every aspect of business and sports. Why not have an "Off The Field” Life, Relationship, Leadership Coach and Trainer on your team that can prevent career ending, embarrassing off field events that are bad for everyone concerned. A majority of the problems facing young professional athletes today can be eliminated by the proper training. They can create smarter, healthier, respectful and more productive relationships between the Athlete and their Agents, Coaches, Team, Referees, Family and Media.
The time has never been more right for the Sports World to enter into the 21st Century for something as important and challenging with the increase in domestic violence. For more ways I can help your team, player or client, contact me today!
Life and Relationship Coach and Trainer