VIDEO: Coaching Boys into Men

Derek Koehler / Washburn Review / Video By: Joseph Scherr, Washburn Review

The national Coaches Leadership Program, “Coaching Boys into Men,” provides coaches with the essential skills to help young athletes build mannerly and non-violent relationships.

The program demonstrates the effective and powerful role of coaches in the lives of young athletes. Even though the “Coaching Boys into Men” program is primarily targeted towards coaches of middle school and junior high school sports, all coaches were invited to this free event.

Members of the Washburn University’s Leadership Institute, along with the YWCA of Topeka and the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation, brought the program to the community. Coaches and players alike attended this event on Nov. 3, uncertain about what this program was all about; in the end, it all became very clear that coaches have the ability to change the attitudes of their players and help pave path for young people’s success.

Brian Porch, a crime victim advocate, spoke during the program. Porch has been with the Johnson Country Kansas District Attorney’s Office for 21 years.

“This program is to help communities be safer,” said Porch. “We want our children and athletes to have healthy relationships, free of violence and abuse. Believe it or not, coaches have that ability to take a big part in that. We’ve made a long term commitment introducing this program, following up with coaches that are using this program locally, and there are a lot of coaches adopting this program as well. We are very much interested for that becoming a standard in the state of Kansas.”

Washburn University students Marissa Bradley, Katie Lawless and Kyle Schmidt were willing to establish a “Coaching Boys into Men” program here in Topeka to help prevent youth violence.

“We thought it would be a good idea to bring in Brian Porch,” said Schmidt. “He is a trainer for the program, and he’s done this before, so we knew he was a good person to bring in.”

The students said  that since they had access to the Washburn the campus it would be a good way to bring in and implement the program.

“This program is important to me because it’s a cause that I believe in. Dating violence is an issue in the community,” said Schmidt. “Knowing someone who has been exposed to it, I would like to see alleviated. I would like to see this program implemented in schools in the community.”