To the Editor:
In regard to your front-page story on Maine’s interscholastic-sports initiative (“Maine Rallies Behind Rules for Athletics,” Jan. 26, 2005), we here in Massachusetts are taking a slightly different tack to accomplish the same goals. We are marrying science with education once again by implementing a sports-psychology curriculum and text for each student involved in athletics. The aim is to help teach people how to create a positive environment, how to change harmful thoughts to helpful ones, how to become self-motivated, and how to develop many other mental skills that transcend sports.
Maine could add to its excellent initiative by changing the model of a sports team from one of verbal messaging with ambiguous life skills to one that is clear, structured, and put in writing. We have just begun that journey here in high schools, with the idea that youth sports will follow the public schools’ example of changing the culture of sports.
A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2005 edition of Education Week as Let Sports Psychology Augment Athletics Rules