“Camaraderie, compassion, and collaboration are key to a successful team in any sport,” said NSCAA CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel. “Understanding how others can be different is essential and we want to help encourage the most respectful, inclusive environments possible across all of soccer.”
More than 70 percent LGBT youth frequently hear homophobic remarks, according recent study from the Fenway Institute on bullying of LGBT youth that also reported that 8 out of 10 have been verbally harassed and 4 out of 10 students been physically harassed. And that LGBT youth are at an increased rick of suicide attempts.
The NSCAA course provides simple tips to help coaches create an inclusive environment.
“Education is such a critical part to understanding the LGBT community,” said Dan Woog, chair of the NSCAA’s LGBT and Allies coaching community. “It’s simply a change in your mindset and the way you approach others. The more prepared you are, the better coach you will be.”
Woog is a former NSCAA Boys Youth Coach of the Year and is the author of several books, including two books on gay athletes, the “Jocks” series. Two years ago, the NSCAA launched an LGBT Soccer Coaches and Allies Community page on its web site.
“The goal of the NSCAA is to make people better coaches,” says Woog. “If a kid is dealing with any issues that prevent him from focusing, he’s not going to be as good a player as he could be. He’s not going to be able to contribute what he could and that impacts the entire team.”
NSCAA LGBT: Diversity and Inclusion Course (free with certificate upon completion)