Coaches - How to Create a Bully Free Team...

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I rarely get any bullying of any kind with the teams I coach, the schools I teach at or the football camps I run and thats because I try my hardest to create a ‘team’ culture between the whole group.

From the offset I take a mental note of the smallest things I think may lead to something worse, I.e: sniggering if another kid misses an easy chance, has a bad touch ETC..

I call the kid over and just have a quite word: “If that was you who missed that chance, how would you feel if someone laughed at you?” Usually the response I get: “Not very good” me: “No you wouldn’t, but how would you feel if a teammate shouted over: unlucky mate better luck next time, keep going!”?? Usual response: “I’d feel better..” me: “ try that next time, yeah buddy?”

To some, this may seem a bit over the top, (they are only kids and thats what kids do), but for me, it’s building a group culture of encouragement and a team full of encouragers. Thus, eradicating a problem before it rears it’s ugly head.

The kids know, (even if subconsciously), no way i’d get away with bullying someone if I get pulled up by the coach for sniggering at a missed shot.

I’m a fun coach, but I stamp down hard, early doors on things that could damage the culture of the group.

Once you’ve let a couple of small incidents go, things can escalate quickly and once they have it’s so hard to pull it back.

Remember; the coach is in charge and sets the tone for the culture he/she wants to build and bullying behaviour won’t be able to start if your culture is based on encouragement, team spirit and togetherness.

Good Luck Coach..