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The Psychology of Violence and Aggression in Sports

Violence in Sports

Many sports are conducted by people or others who watch them. Nevertheless, sport is a definition used in order to refer to any kind of play or exercises or games or practices which are done according to certain rules and restrictions. Furthermore, these games could be played inside closed areas or outside in the fresh air. In addition, they could be played by one person versus the other or teams against teams. However, they need talents and skills as well as other efforts and physical exercises in order to be able to play them. However, violence in sports is still a big problem that needs to be solved.


Importance of Sports:

Some sports which could be appeared due to the activities performed in daily life such as swimming, fishing and running. In the meantime, there are other kinds of sports which derive from military exercises like riding horses and shooting. Finally, some of sports appeared due to the normal challenges, competitions and violence that came with the interactions and physical contact between humans like taekwondo, boxing and wrestling. What’s more, there are a lot of advantages for practicing sports like keeping your body in shape, teaching yourself how to control and organize your day as well as enhancing relationships and friendships with others. By practicing athletics, players could get talents that are needed on fields and tracks.

On the other hand, performing sports gives you the chance to start relationships and friendships which you could think you didn’t have the ability to do start them in the first place. In addition, sports connect between teenagers from various schools, societies, nationalities and cultures. In the majority of cases, the relationships you form in the field could last for a long time even when you don’t practice the sports or playing them.


Violence in Sports:

In fact, violence in sports means the action which leads to damage and harm and usually violates the restrictions and rules of the game. Besides, it doesn’t have any relationships with the targets and purposes of the sport. In addition, Leonard determines two types of violence in sports which are instrumental violence and reactive violence. As for the reactive violence, it involves components based on emotions and feelings in order to achieve damage and harm. As for the instrumental violence, it doesn’t target emotions and focuses on the mission.

Furthermore, due to the increase in the incidents of violence in games and sports, news and authorities began to document and record them. As a matter of fact, violence is the widest spread action in sports that needs interaction between teams in order to be played. From these sports are the American football, hockey and rugby. Despite the fact that the majority of violence incidents happen between players, other incidents come from parents, spectators, coaches and fans as they cause what is named as a disease of violence and aggression in sports.


Why There Is Violence in Some Sports:

Many researches and studies were conducted about the violence and aggression of fans and people who watch the game in fields. The main aims of these studies were to know if fans provoke the violent actions and behaviors of players or just reflect and show them. The results weren’t accurate and couldn’t be identified. Actually, fans and spectators definitely consider players, coaches and cheerleaders as their own role models. Furthermore, they usually learn ethics like self-confidence and well as taking their social identities from the playing teams. Therefore, imitating their preferable teams and players is considered as a part of this identification and recognition. What’s more, the unity between players in the one team results in considering the other teams as enemies and rivals in addition to increasing hostility and aggression versus the others and then later the fans and the entire society.

Besides, media plays a role in making sports get accepted or refused by people. In fact, Leonard states that media has two-sided role. On the first side, it offers wide representation of aggressive and violent actions connected to sports through television, newspapers, radio and magazines which results in offering a lot of instances to people especially children who could emulate these actions and behaviors. Furthermore, it makes players more famous and known especially the ones who cause a lot of troubles and violence. What’s more, its explanation of incidents and events is usually related to combat and fight connecting between high reactions and enthusiasm and aggressive behaviors. On the other side, getting subject to violence in sports by the means of media has attracted the attention of public to organize and control as well as avoiding the occurrence of such events.

Violence in fact causes damages and harms as well as injuries and wounds to players no matter their ages are in addition to resulting in the kicking of players out of the team or preventing them from playing in next matches. Therefore, if we want to stop violent actions and aggressive behaviors in sports, we have to determine certain restrictions and rules about what could be identified as acceptable actions in the game. Based on the work conducted by the True Sport Strategy, this strategy looks forward to perceiving the formation and the limits of violence in sports in addition to improving techniques and solutions to decrease its occurrence. Finally, this work needs a lot of hard efforts and management as well as enhancement of the Territorial Sport Committee and Ministers in order to stop and prevent violence.


Theories about Causes of Violence in Sports:

In fact, experts and scientists determine three theories in order to know the reasons and causes that lead to violence in sports and games. In addition, these theories are:

First: The Biological Theory:

Based on this theory, violence comes from the natural and essential behaviors related to humans since their birth. As a result, sports have been taken in consideration as social methods and techniques in which humans and people have the ability to release violence that was stored inside their feelings due to problems, issues and depression. Furthermore, the theory states that sports could be regarded as methods for players to get out their anger and release their violence which has been suppressed and hidden. What’s more, the biological theory encourages as well as enhancing people to play sports and games because it assists them to get away aggression and violence in a healthy way. Nevertheless, the theory adopts the point of view that the instincts and inner emotions of violence inside people that give them the chance to do and conduct violent actions and behaviors since violence in sports is considered as one of the ways and methods which people apply in order to get out the suppressed violence in them.


Second: The Psychological Theory:

This theory believes that the causes beyond violence and aggression are resentment and lack of satisfaction. This means that violence comes from the influenced and impacts of a certain situation or event. That’s why frustration and depression are produced when the person doesn’t have the ability to accomplish particular targets and aims. Furthermore, frustration and depression particularly in sports could come from being not able to conduct specific games and moves, wounds that lead to intervention with the best performances, insults spoken by players and coaches as well as suspicious calls dine and conducted by responsible people and staff in the game. Therefore, behaviors and actions of violence and aggression could happen due to the process of making relationships and getting in touch with other which has been conducted on players and their concepts and opinions about violence.

In other words, violence in sports and fights happen due to the feelings and emotions which coaches have established and formed in the minds of the players. For example, when the coach confirms and concentrates on the victory and triumph without focusing on other elements like solidarity for instance, depression and frustration could happen when the players fail to accomplish this target which results in doing violent actions and behaviors. That’s why the psychological methods and opinions made in the minds of athletes are essential to stop or avoid the occurrence of aggression and fights in sports.


Third: The Theory of Social Learning:

On the other side, learning is the element to which the theory of social learning attributes the reasons of violence. Based on what is mentioned in this theory, people learn new actions and behaviors by imitating others and taking them as role models as well as through applying new methods of punishment and bonuses. As for sports, players whose ages are between eighteen and twenty five years old consider their heroes in sports as role models leading to the emulation of their actions and behaviors whether these actions are aggressive or not. In the meantime, parents, leaders and peers could be considered as role models in addition to attracting the attention of fans to enhance and support their violent actions.

As for Jamieson and Orr, they confirm that coaches are one of the main social impacts and effects in sports. In fact, coaches show and represent the talents, ethics and qualifications of sports which are respected and taken in consideration by young people especially teenagers and this is the reason why they emulate these talents and qualifications. In the first place, behaviors which are shown in any kind of environment usually happen because of people and the social situations there. As for role models and leaders as well as idols, the actions they do are regarded as the behaviors which would be emulated by leaders and coaches.

As a result, children and teenagers would emulate the ethics or the bad behaviors as they conducted by their coaches and heroes. In this situation in which violence could be performed by coaches, the likelihood of the aggression and violence in sports are supported and enhanced.


Solutions of Violence in Sports

So that authorities and organizations could have the ability to decrease or prevent violence and aggression from occurrence in sports and games, experts state that they could need to reassess and re-estimate their cultures and thoughts. Based on what was stated by Lynn Jamieson who works as an expert in governmental policies of sports at Indiana University in Bloomington, the stress to become brilliant in the game is considered as one of the elements that lead to aggression in sports and games especially with the competition about victory and winning. In fact, not only adults and people could do aggressive actions as kids and children who are motivated to look for scholarships or appreciation could turn to be very violent in playing in particular when they see their role models from players fight and hit each other.

Jamieson added that in professional sports, the game is considered as a career, future and business for players who could do anything and do their best efforts in order to achieve their ambitions and aspirations as well as keeping progressing in order to gain more fame and make themselves more notable as persons or as teams and this definitely could result in violence. What’s more, Dan Lebowitz who works as an executive director in the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northern University in Boston states that discussing and arguing about violence in sports provide a chance to know humans more.

He also added that the time could come to check and confirm the methods by which the society defines and determines the definition of manliness and courage as well as ceasing to enhance and support boys and men to asses and estimate strength, power and harshness over respect and ethics. In other words, we have to teach men and kids that manhood doesn’t necessarily need violent behaviors to prove it. As for decreasing the amount of bad behaviors, the NFL and institutions as well as organizations could be able to do a lot of efforts in order to show less aggressive actions for the young people and young players too.

Lebowitz states also that sport is regarded as an international stage which forms a main language and means of communication between people like music and food which we have the ability to perceive whatever our religion, race, language or cultures are. Therefore, we have to do our best in order to show this language in its best form and to protect it from terrible actions and fights so that the new generations could grow with being aware of the importance and the benefits of sports in addition to its assistance in preventing violence and conflicts between people and in creating relationships with others.


Conclusion:

To sum up, sports are very important as they improve the health and keep the body in good shape. However, many people resort to violent actions while playing in order to prove their superiority. Therefore, media and institutions have to think about possible solutions that could be achieved and applied in order to prevent these aggressive behaviors from occurring and to help in raising good generations.


Recommendations:

We all have an idea about violence in sports. But the question is what did we do about the occurrence of this aggression and violence? An instance of the methods and techniques applied by the National Basketball Association in order to face violence in sports turned to be headline news in the recent years. In fact, the league commissioner of the National Basketball Association named David Stern prevented Latrell Sprewell who was a player in one of the most famous teams of the United States “Golden State Warriors” from playing for one year because he assaulted on the head of his coach named P. J. Carlesimo. In addition, Sprewell wasn’t able to continue his contract which was about thirty two million American dollars with the team as well as his shoe contract with Converse because of what he did. Actions which have been conducted towards professional players that included aggressive actions and behaviors in and out the field of playing turn to be more famous and known recently.

On the other side, some of the ways by which leagues begin to punish their players and professional athletes in order to prevent the violent actions included prevention from playing for a year as well as high penalties and fines. Despite the fact that a lot of players were forced to pay huge amounts of money for doing and conducting violent behaviors, these methods of punishment are doubted whether they could lead to change the situations and these actions in the future or not.

As for players who have the same point of view like Charles Barkley, they don’t mind being forced to pay fines and penalties as they make a lot of money. Therefore, paying thousands of dollars don’t mean anything to them. As a matter of fact, behaviors and opinions like this one could change because of the actions that were conducted towards Sprewell. Thus, what are the other methods in order to decrease the amounts of events and situations that include violence and aggression in sports and games? Here are some of the recommendations to prevent the occurrence of violent actions:

1. Heads of teams have to create and form essential penalties and fines in order to punish the players who commit any kinds of violent actions.

2. Senior management has to guarantee the right methods of coaching for players in teams especially if they are young which confirms fairness and justice in paying between all athletics.

3. Administrations must prevent the usages of alcoholic drinks in the events of sports.

4. Administrations have to ensure the sufficiency of facilities and institutions relating to the demands and needs as well as the provisions of new means of entertainment and pleasure.

5. Media has to do its efforts in participating in basic ideas and thoughts to prevent the occurrence of violence in sports instead of focusing on them.


The Psychology of Violence and Aggression in Sports
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