It’s much more than just the specific sport; it’s about reinforcing positive attitude and lessons for life.

Deal With Bullying

What Bullying Does

  • Athletes who are subjected to bullying often lose focus, play or perform tentatively, feel anxious, drop out of tournaments or competitions, or quit sports altogether.
  • They are reluctant to tell parents or coaches because they’re embarrassed, scared or feel shame.

Why Do Athletes Bully?

  • Bullies target a variety of young athletes, and often set their sights on kids who are overweight, small or who lack confidence.
  • Bullies often also target highly talented athletes because they are jealous and want to intimidate them into leaving the competitive arena.

What Does Bullying Look Like in Sport?

  • Unwarranted yelling and screaming directed at the target
  • Continually criticizing the target’s abilities
  • Blaming the target for mistakes
  • Making unreasonable demands related to performance
  • Repeated insults or put downs of the target
  • Repeated threats to remove or restrict opportunities or privileges
  • Denying or discounting the target’s accomplishments
  • Threats of, and actual, physical violence
  • E-mails or instant messages containing insults or threats

What Coaches Can Do

  • Recognize that you are a role model to the players and set the stage for how kids on a team treat one another.
  • Be clear you want to create an atmosphere of respect, support and team unity, and state you won’t tolerate players bullying each other or members of other teams.
  • Help the team understand the impact bullying behavior has on the rest of the team, and how this impacts morale, team building and ultimately the entire team’s performance.
  • Reinforce positive behaviour.
  • Establish open and honest communication between all parties involved, including parents, players, managers and volunteers.
  • Be prepared to look critically at your own behaviour. Accept feedback without being defensive and change, if needed.

What Parents & Adults Can Do

  • Recognize you are a role model to your child, other players and parents. Set a good example and reinforce positive behaviour when you see it.
  • Maintain open and honest communication with your child and the coach to discuss acceptable boundaries of behaviour to ensure any concerns are addressed.
  • Ensure a pre-season meeting is held with parents, athletes, coaches and board members to discuss acceptable boundaries of behaviour for everyone involved.
  • Try to attend practices and games whenever possible. If private practices are held, ask for an explanation.
  • If you observe bullying, bring the matter to the attention of the coach, other parents or league officials.

What Players Can Do

  • Trust your instincts. If Someone’s behaviour is making you feel uncomfortable or threatened, don’t ignore it. You have the right to be treated respectfully. there is something that can be done.
  • Talk to someone you trust, a parent, friend, coach, manager or another player. Keep speaking up until someone helps you.
  • Stay calm. Bullies love a reaction so don’t give them one.
  • Project confidence. Hold your head up and stand up straight. Bullies pick on people who they think are afraid. Show them you’re not!
  • Don’t reply to messages from cyber bullies. If you’re receiving threatening text messages or e-mails don’t reply, but keep the message as evidence.
  • Understand what bullying is and the negative impact it can have on you and those around you. If you’re standing around watching bullying happen, you’re pare of the problem instead of the solution. You’re exactly the audience that the bully wants.
  • Speak up, walk away and get help, help the target and don’t fight the bully.

Expand the Reach is a web based resource for coaches, athletes of all levels, parents and community organizations to support Mental Wellness, and early intervention for better performance in sport & life. 

Contact us for more information