The Team Bully, how do you handle it?

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Rerun, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. Rerun

    Rerun Super Moderator Staff Member

    Shared by Anonymous.

    How does everyone deal with the team “bullying”?
  2. First2Third

    First2Third Active Member

    On our HS team the coach made the team bully a captain. Didn't help.
  3. google1

    google1 Active Member

    It is unacceptable and is detrimental to a team.
    As a coach I would address it with the "bully" and if it didn't stop that player would be relieved of their duties.
  4. HITTER23

    HITTER23 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Youd probably have to actually witness it or it would be a kids word against another kid. Id keep them apart as much as possible, until i was able to confront the situation. Then id go to the parents.
  5. Xrayaries

    Xrayaries Active Member

    I would sit them both down together. I would let each one explain their side of the story. Typically the person telling the truth allows the other to speak and the guilty one will deny, blame and point fingers. I would ask both of them how they would resolve the problem and ask if there was anything I could do the fix the issue. Even though they will come up with a solution I would make them do everything together from here on out. Net, buckets, bases, warmups, tee partners. I would watch from a far and see who the problem really is. Usually they work it out and become close. I have let a player walk once because of behavior and the way they talked to their teammates.
    TheSoftballZone likes this.
  6. Catcher '08

    Catcher '08 New Member

    I asked my '08 dd what she would do. If I'm the one getting bullied I would punch her in the face and deal with the consequences.
    yocoach, City Slicker and Rerun like this.
  7. brownsfan

    brownsfan Active Member

    We had a similar situation on my middle school team a couple years back. Didn’t want to hear each other’s story as I told them both are at fault (after gathering facts from outside the team). After I made that clear, had them throw together until they came to an understanding.
    Xrayaries likes this.
  8. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    make her pitch and leave her in till the cows come home.
  9. josie

    josie Member

    A few years ago, our team bully was the coach's daughter.
    (we left the team)
  10. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    I have read the posts shared and have mixed feelings. Mixed feelings because the answers mirror what I have witnessed in the past and all have had mixed results. I can't agree with any of them in their entirety and admit I can't formulate a perfect solution. Perhaps the reason is there is no perfect solution. In itself, this is disturbing.

    The one thing that always upset me the most was when a coaching staff would choose to ignore the problem as the solution. How can anyone think this is healthy? Waiting it out in hopes the season will soon be over is not an answer. "Just stay away from her" is not an answer. "Since you two can't seem to get along I'm going to join you both at the hip to do everything together for the rest of the season" is not an answer. All the shared responses are answers for the coaches dealing with a problem but it doesn't solve the true problem. I understand the appearance is the problem goes away and things are better but the reality is it's much deeper than most can see. To be honest, it probably is not in the wheelhouse of most coaches. They didn't sign on to be personal therapists and counselors but to be a top line coach you need to master those skills. Most amateur coaches are not trained or willing to get this type of training. It's what sets a great coach apart from all the others.

    Analyzing personalities and understanding the individuals can consume all the time a coach has to determine the best and the proper course of action. Most travel coaches simply don't have that kind of time to give. It falls back into the laps of the parents to take care of the problem. Unfortunately, this can, at times, require the coaches to put referee shirts on to deal with things. Wrong uniform for a coach. They don't want this job. If they wanted to deal with conflict they would have become umpires................

    College and school coaches have more time with the kids so it makes sense they should have more training and a skill-set on handling such issues. I had to say it. It doesn't seem to work this way but I had to say it.

    If we can agree these problems should not be in the job description of a travel or Rec coach due to time restraints, we can only advise the families to work it out away from the team so it no longer affects team chemistry. If this means a weaker family leaves you have to accept the outcome. If this means the bully is creating issues with the team you deal with the bully. If that means removing them you have to accept the outcome. If a bully is simply an isolated issue with only 1 other player, go back to the top of this list and start over. If it splits the team and you cannot complete the season due to your choices of how to handle things, know it was your fault for listening to me.........

    Go get life coach training or recruit an adult to be a full time mediator to buffer issues before they get to the coach. It's not going to happen but I had to say it...............
    CARDS and Rotte like this.
  11. Rerun

    Rerun Super Moderator Staff Member

    can we rename daboss to daman?
    daboss likes this.
  12. Xrayaries

    Xrayaries Active Member

    I have personally dealt with this on multiple teams. Especially football teams and girls basketball teams. Making them work together on an athletic level creates a reason to communicate. Communication leads to respect and respect leads to support. They typically don't know the other player well enough to create enough hate to where they cannot fix the issue. If there are other issues that comes out during the meeting. If you cannot read your players and see issues brewing you should not be coaching to begin with. You can tell by the way your players interact when they are in a dugout. You can see the little clicks developing. You can see everything if you pay attention all the time. Your job as a coach is to anticipate any situation. Establish guidelines and expectations. Never show favoritism and most of all treat your child if a parent coach like the rest. I have coached multiple levels of sports from Basketball, football, baseball, and softball. All of them have unique and different dynamics when it comes to a coaches mental fortitude.
  13. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    Here is a link to a FREE course that can help coaches and parents that face these situations.

    The key for any coach is awareness and setting out and managing too, expectations for players, parents and coaches...

    Watching intently during ALL team activities is a first step. A lot of teams / coaches struggle with providing a complete training program for their athletes or themselves that can create problems.

    At the HS, College and an inner city programs I coached with I would use the softball school lessons we developed back in the early 2000s to help players identify behaviors that are or could hold them or a teammate back.
    Lessons on personal relationships, balancing sports with life should all be part of the softball experience not just the fundamentals of hitting/fielding but the addition of the fundamentals of being a team player and enhancing ones softball IQ in a variety of areas.

    If you are a parent that finds yourself on a team where behaviors are not checked, team bonding and team building are not part of the program or the coach may just be in over their head its important that you do not tell the player to suck it up or just ignore it. These behaviors will get worse if not addressed and that includes social media as well as team activities.
    It is always advised to inform the coach and parent of any concerns. In most cases problems can be resolved quickly if not left to build. In rare cases a family may chose to go another direction if the differences cannot be reconciled. In even rarer cases players will walk away from the game at all levels.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
    Xrayaries likes this.

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