How to Leverage Principles of Sports to Solve Teen Behavior Management Problems

We have all heard the clichés – “there is no I in Team”, “Sports build character”. Sports analogies are often used by motivational speakers to get people to visualize goals. and become “winners”. The truth is when it comes to a teen behavior management solution, sports offers a very real solution. Team sports and physical activity can offer behavior management help to the troubled teen on so many levels.

Contact sports offer:

  1. A positive alternative to channel excess energy and aggression.
  2. Physical activity and exercise have been proven to aid in detoxification of those addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Physical Activity and Team Sports also:

  1. Build Self-Esteem and a Desire to Achieve
  2. Teach Responsibility and Reliance on Others
  3. Create an Environment of Structure, Training and Discipline
  4. Help set Goals and Overcome Fears

These are all essential elements to any teen behavior management solution, and why sports are a central part of the program at most residential therapeutic centers. There are also camps and programs where the entire behavior management solution is built around sports and or physical activities. According to Mitch Lyons, a professional coach and founder and President of, Inc., “By using the existing infrastructure of sports in America that serves 30 million children a year, it is possible to teach our young people, in an educational, science-based way, how to control thoughts, feelings and behavior, a shorthand definition for emotional health. Once taught, children can practice these skills every time they meet – to improve their play on the field and their behavior in their lives.” This statement comes from his heart as he started out as one of those unfortunate teens with little future to look towards. He proudly states that his belief in the behavior management solution of sports, is what put him where he is today, and where his young followers will be tomorrow.


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