Domestic violence advocates say athletes, coaches have voice - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Domestic violence advocates say athletes, coaches have voice

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WAVERLY (KWWL) - The situation surrounding former NFL player Ray Rice is sparking conversations across American about domestic violence.

A program called "Coaching Boys Into Men" focuses on teaching athletes the importance of violence prevention.

According to Executive Director of Cedar Valley Friends of the Family Ben Brustkern, the program aims at teaching student athletes that physical strength should be used on the field, not off it.

Brustkern helps oversee the program. He said every coach should participate in the free program which utilizes play cards of scenarios students are likely to find themselves in.

"On the field -- that is where your strength is used. But off the field, it's off limits. We need to be able to control that. We need to keep that same composure that our coaches teach us when we're on the field," said Brustkern.

"When somebody commits a penalty, we don't run over, we don't yell at the refs, we don't do this. We need to be able to keep that same composure in life that we also keep on the field and understand the strength only occurs on the field," he said.

Waverly-Shell Rock's Head Football Coach Mark Hubbard said he will implement the program with his players this week.

Brustkern said he hopes other districts do, too.

"We can play a role in ending violence in our community through ways like this where we lean on those people that are seen as role models in our community -- the coaches, the athletes, the administrators within that school," he said.

More information on the program can be found here:
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