Team USA asks you to make the commitment


Just a few years ago it would have been nearly impossible to get a youth sports organization to even acknowledge the possible validity of the headline of this photo. Now Team USA is LEADING with that statement. That's progress.


This Sunday I will be headed to Colorado Springs to attend the Safe Sport Leadership Conference, hosted by USA Swimming. In addition to taking part in a panel discussion Monday morning, I will have the honor/opportunity/responsibility of giving the keynote (!) address Monday night. Attendees will include leaders from the United States Olympic Committee and Olympic sport National Governing Bodies. I have been preparing the presentation of a lifetime (my lifetime anyway) for two weeks now, and I know that all that I can ever be or bring to any situation is the truest version of me, and I am certain that—if nothing else—it will live up to the Thoreau quote that I posted the other day, “that I will give them a strong dose of myself.”

Given the opportunity to speak to the most influential decision-makers in amateur sports, with many other leaders from national youth serving organizations in attendance…a captive audience for thirty minutes…what would *you* want to say to them? What would *you* need them to know?



“Two champions who stepped out of the shadows, shined a light on the the dark secret of child sexual abuse and showed us how to understand it and begin to heal.”

Gary Smith on heroes Kayla Harrison & R.A. Dickey in this week’s Sports Illustrated cover story: “Speak up, Speak out”

The Irish Times: "Gavagan's cautionary tale for all times"

The documentary is only a work in progress; but, on the evidence of his contribution to a conference in New York last week, Christopher Gavagan’s story – for he is the filmmaker with the guts and courage to delve into his own past – should make for a harrowing tale. It should also serve as a lesson, not just to other young sportsmen with their eyes on pursuing the dream of sporting excellence, but to many families and to society at large.

Philip Reid zeroing in on what Coached into Silence is all about,  in The Irish Times:

Coached into Silence in The NY Times: Close Relationship Between Player and Coach, Potential for Sexual Abuse

It was the summer before high school, and Christopher Gavagan, then 13, was preparing to leave the safe familiarity of the friends he had known during his boyhood. With a plan to excel at ice hockey, he began training on inline skates, moving through his New York City neighborhood, up and down the streets until, he said, “I turned down the wrong street.”

Gavagan, now a filmmaker, was one of eight panelists who participated Friday in a discussion about young athletes who have been sexually assaulted or abused by their coaches. The panel was part of the MaleSurvivor 13th International Conference, held this year at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The conference brought together men who have been sexually abused, as well as psychologists, social workers, academics and members of the legal community.

You can read Eric V. Copage’s full article here.