It’s much more than just the specific sport; it’s about reinforcing positive attitude and lessons for life.


Signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

  • Low self-esteem covered by cocky or “tough” demeanor
  • Swearing
  • Deliberately challenging people
  • Often arguing with adults
  • History of conflict with teachers and peers
  • Use of drugs or alcohol in school
  • History of academic problems and school failure
  • Early sexual activity


Teach the use and concept of self-talk to assist children in reducing their anger; e.g., “I have a right to be mad, but I’m not going to lose it.” Also, if they have kept their cool, teach them to praise their own success; e.g., “I really handled that well.”

  • Encourage an angry child who is old enough to write to put his/her angry feelings in writing.
  • Look for situations in which you can problem solve together. Give the child responsibility he/she can handle easily and give praise for success.
  • Help children develop emotional literacy so they can learn words to express angry feelings. Script language for them.
  • Be a positive role model-try not to lose your temper.
  • Communicate your observations in a neutral, non-confrontational manner; e.g., “I notice that you don’t follow instructions when given” or “I notice that you have been arguing.”
  • Provide opportunities for a variety of expressive outlets; e.g., story-writing, painting, drama, clay, or using a punching bag in a safe place.
  • Establish clear expectations, rules and boundaries for the whole team.
  • Establish clear consequences and rewards.
  • Try to develop a mentoring relationship between the athletes
  • Have an athlete who is angry run around the track/outside
  • Provide a safe place for them to go when they are angry-a place to calm down

Expand the Reach is a web based resource for coaches, athletes of all levels, parents and community organizations to support Mental Wellness, and early intervention for better performance in sport & life. 

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