The use of intimidation in sports

In the world of sports, athletes are always looking for a way to get any edge that they can in order to succeed. Athletes will go out and exercise to improve stamina, or just simply go practice whatever sport they are in. While the athlete is doing this, the coach is also looking for ways to get better. This usually includes bettering themselves psychologically and trying to get their players to respond to whatever they are teaching them. And one thing that coaches have seemed to embrace is the use of intimidation.

“I’ve had some pretty scary and intimidating coaches,” said Dylan Trent ’16. “Sometimes the coaches will intimidate you, but your teammates can do the same thing because you don’t want to let them down. Intimidation is more common in wrestling than football because everyone is watching you, and if you mess up, then you let down your whole team.”

In sports, sometimes just the physical characteristics of someone can get into one’s head and intimidate them.

“If you walk out on the mat in wrestling with a full beard and your chest hair popping out, that’s going to be an automatic five points for your team” said Trent.

Intimidation in sports is not as prominent as it used to be, but it could still exist some places. Though most coaches by now have understood that it is a very outdated method.

“Maybe 35 years ago with Bobby Knight it worked,” said Mr. Ambrose. “But not now. The kids are usually there because they want to be there, so they don’t need to be bullied or intimidated in order to do what they need to do.”

Now in the 20th century, athletes have become less dependent on their coaches for motivation, and more dependent on themselves and their teammates to push them in the direction for success. The fear of failing has taken over intimidation.

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