Mandatory Positive Coaching Training for Coaches Renting Field Space from Palo Alto to Reduce Toxic Masculinity in Youth Sports


by : 
Isai P.


Mental health stigma, particularly among males, is a significant issue, as societal pressure to suppress emotions can lead to feelings of isolation and hopelessness. One contributing factor to this issue is toxic masculinity, a set of attitudes and behaviors associated with societal expectations of adult males. These expectations can lead to depression, suppressed emotions, and a reluctance to seek mental health support. Males are often taught from a young age through common phrases such as "boys don't cry," "man up," and "don't play like a girl," that expressing emotions is not masculine. Many males participating in youth sports feel the impact of toxic masculinity early on in their development. Positive coaching could be one way to mitigate the negative effect of toxic masculinity in youth sports and help young males find healthy ways to manage their emotions. Through action research, this project aims to investigate the results of positive coaching on young athletes' self-identity, willingness to express feelings, and the combatting of a narrow definition of male adulthood often present in the culture of sports. Data collected through interviews with coaches who have undergone positive coaching training and observations of youth flag football games will assist in evaluating the need for positive coaching training throughout Palo Alto youth sports.