We had the great pleasure to speak with Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe about diversity among elite athletes. Dr. Withycombe, has over 15 years experience within the field of athletics as an athlete, coach, consultant, sport psychologist, and diversity and inclusion educator. Most notably Dr. WIthycombe has worked with the NCAA, AMCC and the US Rowing team.
Dr. Withycombe often gets asked the question:
At Positive Performance Training, we believe strongly in self-reflection for athletes, coaches and even for teams. We also strongly believe in taking action to always be improving so we love Dr. Withycombe's answer to this question. She advises that the first step is to start out by thinking about what your program stands for. It isn’t a conversation about sexual orientation, it is about defining who you are as a team and what you stand for. Once you’ve defined the culture of your team it’s important to roll it out at the beginning of the season to everyone. Be careful not to single out any one group, the goal isn’t just about inclusion for sexual orientation, it is about inclusion for all. This will avoid making any one athlete anxious about the diversity changes. Focus on making broad changes to increase team acceptance of diversity of any kind.
[Tweet "Committed to building a safe, accepting team for athletes."]
Studies show, teams that focus on creating more diverse inclusive programs saw many benefits such as increased creativity, more harmonious team environment and player happiness. They also enjoyed higher rates of success in terms of wins and losses.
Listen to other podcasts on a number of different LGBT athlete issues including:
About our guest:
Dr. Withycombe conducts Diversity Education workshops, talks, and planning sessions all over the United States focusing on the current issues and unique challenges found within educational institutions and sport. Dr. Withycombe’s focus on best practices provides real-world strategies for influencing the culture in your departments and teams.
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