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Teammate Bullying - Youth Soccer

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    Teammate Bullying - Youth Soccer

    For those that have been part of club soccer for a while, what has been your experience with bullies on the actual team (particularly on the girls side, pre-11v11)? Do clubs do anything about it?

    Unfortunately we have now experienced this on multiple teams (different clubs) and there always seems to be one bully. Even a teammate of our previous club recently joined another respected club and is now contending with a team bully.

    is this just part of youth soccer? Do coaches care? Any thoughts on how to find a club/team where this just isn’t an issue because it is identified and dealt with swiftly?

    #2
    What do you perceive as bullying?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Guest View Post
      What do you perceive as bullying?
      What do I “perceive” as bullying? I honestly am dumbfounded by that question. Here is a definition by the CDC:

      CDC defines bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or current dating partners, that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance, and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. Common types of bullying include:
      • Physical such as hitting, kicking, and tripping
      • Verbal including name-calling and teasing
      • Relational/social such as spreading rumors and leaving out of the group
      • Damage to property of the victim

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Guest View Post
        What do you perceive as bullying?
        Would you also like to know what I perceive as gaslighting?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Guest View Post

          Unfortunately we have now experienced this on multiple teams (different clubs) and there always seems to be one bully.

          You are experiencing this in multiple teams and different clubs.

          It could be that the common denominator is actually YOU, and not the young children on your daughter’s team.

          So without you clearly identifying what has been happening, it’s not possible to give you solid advice.

          Comment


            #6
            It happens in life, not just youth sports. Girls, especially late elementary into middle school, can be simply awful. Girls are more likely to be hurt by it, boys tend to let more roll off them. Coaches rarely do anything but also are often not aware of it. Parents need to talk (often) with their kids about how to handle bullies. Be on the look out for warning signs (like suddenly stop wanting to go to practice). It's hard to prescribe next steps since each situation will be different.

            Comment


              #7
              yeah going to kind of need examples before anyone can give advice. If you've had this issue on multiple teams maybe there is something about your kids attitude you aren't seeing. I would focus on teaching your kid how to deal with the issue, and bullies can't say much if your kid is the best on the team.

              My daughter had to deal with a bully, dirty fouls in practice talking trashj etc, coach wasn't doing anything. Told her next time that kid does a dirty foul on you at practice, you get up off the ground run at them full speed and take them out no matter where they are on the field or if they have the ball. She did, it worked, coach started paying a bit more attention to what was going on and bully decided not to mess with my kid anymore. Don't make the path easier for your child, make your child strong enough for the path.

              Comment


                #8
                I dont need specific examples to provide some feedback.

                As others have said, bullying is everywhere in life, as adults too. Hell you only have to turn on the news to see bullying on a national and global scale!

                coaches can help, but really its up to you as a parent.

                The first step is to teach uour child how to deal with bullies. Its a life lesson they will need to learn.

                The second step is to talk to the parents. See if they can help.

                The third step is to talk to the coach.

                Fourth, talk to the club director.

                finally if all that fails, leave.

                Make an earnest attempt to deal with the situation with understanding and empathy. You never know whats going on in the "bully's" life. Doesnt excuse bad behaviour, but in my experience there is usually a reason.

                But to others point, you do have to ask yourself if you took those four steps and nobody did anything, are you sure its bullying?

                Good luck and hope this helps!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Guest View Post
                  I dont need specific examples to provide some feedback.

                  As others have said, bullying is everywhere in life, as adults too. Hell you only have to turn on the news to see bullying on a national and global scale!

                  coaches can help, but really its up to you as a parent.

                  The first step is to teach uour child how to deal with bullies. Its a life lesson they will need to learn.

                  The second step is to talk to the parents. See if they can help.

                  The third step is to talk to the coach.

                  Fourth, talk to the club director.

                  finally if all that fails, leave.

                  Make an earnest attempt to deal with the situation with understanding and empathy. You never know whats going on in the "bully's" life. Doesnt excuse bad behaviour, but in my experience there is usually a reason.

                  But to others point, you do have to ask yourself if you took those four steps and nobody did anything, are you sure its bullying?

                  Good luck and hope this helps!
                  Wow, thank you for giving a very reasoned and thoughtful response, it definitely helps! I also appreciate that you seemed to understand that specifics weren't really necessary to give some advice, as I purposedly did not give specifics as to not unintentionally call out anyone since who knows who actually reads this forum.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Guest View Post


                    You are experiencing this in multiple teams and different clubs.

                    It could be that the common denominator is actually YOU, and not the young children on your daughter’s team.

                    So without you clearly identifying what has been happening, it’s not possible to give you solid advice.
                    Way to victim shame without any knowledge of the specifics.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Guest View Post
                      It happens in life, not just youth sports. Girls, especially late elementary into middle school, can be simply awful. Girls are more likely to be hurt by it, boys tend to let more roll off them. Coaches rarely do anything but also are often not aware of it. Parents need to talk (often) with their kids about how to handle bullies. Be on the look out for warning signs (like suddenly stop wanting to go to practice). It's hard to prescribe next steps since each situation will be different.
                      Appreciate the feedback.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Guest View Post
                        yeah going to kind of need examples before anyone can give advice. If you've had this issue on multiple teams maybe there is something about your kids attitude you aren't seeing. I would focus on teaching your kid how to deal with the issue, and bullies can't say much if your kid is the best on the team.

                        My daughter had to deal with a bully, dirty fouls in practice talking trashj etc, coach wasn't doing anything. Told her next time that kid does a dirty foul on you at practice, you get up off the ground run at them full speed and take them out no matter where they are on the field or if they have the ball. She did, it worked, coach started paying a bit more attention to what was going on and bully decided not to mess with my kid anymore. Don't make the path easier for your child, make your child strong enough for the path.
                        Not going into specifics on purpose, but I will say that my daughter isn't the only one subject to the bullying (on either team). It is something all the parents on the team are aware of, something the coaches have attempted to address with little change, and in both situations it is pretty clear that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". We left the first club because it hadn't resolved through summer and fall seasons, and apparently we just ran into bad luck joining a new team that apparently has the same historical problem (albeit with more club intervention). In both situations it is a single player that is having an outsized influence on multiple players enjoyment of being part of the team. My question really was "is this just common in youth soccer among major clubs". My daughter has played several years of rec without an issue, and also played for a WPL team where all the girls supported each other. In this case you could look at it as being a 50/50 experience for our family so far...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Guest View Post

                          Not going into specifics on purpose, but I will say that my daughter isn't the only one subject to the bullying (on either team). It is something all the parents on the team are aware of, something the coaches have attempted to address with little change, and in both situations it is pretty clear that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". We left the first club because it hadn't resolved through summer and fall seasons, and apparently we just ran into bad luck joining a new team that apparently has the same historical problem (albeit with more club intervention). In both situations it is a single player that is having an outsized influence on multiple players enjoyment of being part of the team. My question really was "is this just common in youth soccer among major clubs". My daughter has played several years of rec without an issue, and also played for a WPL team where all the girls supported each other. In this case you could look at it as being a 50/50 experience for our family so far...
                          It is common. Not on every team but common enough unfortunately. Coaches (usually men) are ill equipped to handle it. Parents need to keep stepping in. Threaten to all walk if you need to. That usually gets a club's attention. It's tough when the kid has horrible parents because they didn't chose them as parents. Yet they're old enough to know right from wrong. Sometimes tough love is necessary.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If it is top team in your age group it could be sign of high competition (especially if the bully feeling threatened by new player, e.g. they are fighting for the same spot). Sometimes in strong teams girls outcasted weak player that doesn’t show enough of hard work to be better (they worked so hard to be there and bring the team on that level, so lazy and weak players simply piss them off). Sometimes they bossing weaker players. Not saying it’s ok… but in this type of altercations coach would never interfere. The only advice here is hold tight dad, it’s gonna be wild ride. The advice for the girl is keep working, stay friendly, show great work ethics, help team win, and things will clear up.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Read Lord of the Flies. Its a satire of human morality disguised as a book about children.

                              bullying exists everywhere.

                              Teaching children how to deal with bullies is part and parcel of the life lessons of sports.

                              Comment

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