Kansas high school coach told to stop hypnotizing team

By | February 5, 2009

After the St. John High School boys team had won the state basketball championship two years ago and was runner-up last year, the team went just 7-6 through last week.

So the coach tried something different: hypnotism. Most team members underwent two 45-minute sessions last week to increase their concentration and focus. It’s not clear what happened during the sessions; the therapist who led them wouldn’t say, and the coach did not return phone calls. Monday night, the school board voted to stop the sessions.

“It won’t be going on any more at school,” said superintendent James Kenworthy. “If parents want their child to do that, they can contact the licensed therapist on their own.” Hypnotizing students perhaps sends the wrong message to students and surrounding schools, said Kenworthy, who has requested a transcript of the sessions. “At the high school level, it’s not appropriate. We are trying to get kids to understand who they are and what they are. It may give kids a mixed message if you can’t do it on your own.”

Winning basketball teams are a tradition in St. John, a town of 1,200 about 90 miles northwest of Wichita. Kenworthy said the hypnotism of the Class 1A team has been the talk of the town. Coach Clint Kinnamon had sought the help of Carl Feril, a Church of Christ minister who is also a clinical family and marriage therapist. Feril would not discuss what happened during the team’s sessions, saying his was a privileged therapist/client relationship.

via Kansas high school coach told to stop hypnotizing team – Kansas City Star.

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