This chapter defines and explains peer pressure and its effect on teens in our modern society.
Peer pressure occurs when influence is exerted by peers or a group of peers to any age group. The definition of a peer is: one of equal standing with another; one belonging to the same societal group based on age, grade, or status.
Negative peer pressure can cause any one or all of the following:
• A lack of self-esteem
• Disregarding of personal values
• Emotional damage
• Create an environment where alcohol and/or drugs are used
• Premarital sexual activities
Facts related to peer pressure:
• Thirty percent of teens are offered drugs in the high
• 74.3 percent of high school students have used alcohol.
• 3.1 million teens smoke.
• 1/2 of all teens are pressured into sex.
• Marijuana use is up 253 percent between 1972-1977.
• 9.5 percent of all teens have tried cocaine.
Coach J.B. Poole of Dakota Wesleyan University (SD) has a philosophy that describes his team members as "Band of Brothers."
We wanted to "put our feet to our philosophy" of developing young men.
Essentially, the program is a four-point series that matches the four years a player is in our program.
Part 1: Our freshmen and all new transfers are required to read the book, "Seasons of Life" by Jeffrey Marks. I meet with this group four (4) times in the fall of the year for one hour each session to discuss the book.
Part 2: Our sophomores (the second layer) are required to participate in seven (7) service projects that are led by our defensive coordinator. Our requirements for these projects
are to do things that will "get your hands dirty."
Part 3: Our juniors and third year players are to participate in seven (7) leadership seminars led by our quarterback coach. we invite various men to discuss topics of leadership. Our players prepare a series of questions and discussion topics related to the speaker's response for our final forum.
Part 4: Our seniors are required to attend a three-day senior retreat that is held prior to their final season. At the retreat they have to read portions of the book, "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge, participate in discussions about team, family, faith, character and leadership, and compete in a series of challenge-games that include bass fishing, clay shooting and prairie dog hunting.
Coach Poole's "Band of Brothers" creates an environment where there are among their brothers. As they learn together, they become significant, positive peer influences on each other.
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In order to combat negative teenage pressure, parents, teachers and coaches must be open to creating a dialogue. High expectations and clear boundaries set by parents, teachers and coaches have a usual positive effect.
Coaches have the unique ability to create positive peer pressure through natural groups created by the game of football. These groups that learn together and work together to become an essential part of the team become very close and have a profound influence on each other. To give an example, running backs, defensive line, wide receivers and offensive line create peer groups. The position coaches have a unique opportunity to instill the camaraderie and closeness of a positive peer group. This chapter will provide solutions by 10 coaches to help eliminate negative peer pressure from their high school experiences. Coaches have the opportunity to build self-esteem, through role modeling, peer pressure and goal setting.
Coaches should find ways to build confidence and self-esteem in those players who may have lost it through negative high school peer pressure.
Teaching leadership and goal setting is a strong enabler to overcome negative peer pressure and become a positive peer.