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Water Polo’s Mike Lewis on why hazing should not be part of the sport

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Excerpt follows:

How your team looks is another factor that influences team cohesion.  Investing in team warm-ups, shirts, suites, caps, etc., will go along way in helping your athletes identify with their team.  Think of a professional sports team:  each individual wears the same uniforms as the other members of the team – this is how we, as fans, identify the team, but it is also how the team itself creates an identity.

Remember that hazing is not teambuilding!  In fact, hazing is illegal. You should never allow you team members to haze or initiate new members to your team.  The effects of hazing can be extremely detrimental to building team cohesion.

(Mike Lewis is the Director of Sport Development for USA Water Polo.  He holds a Masters Degree in Sport Psychology and has over 15 years of coaching experience)

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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