Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Spot the Warning Signs of Bullying

Volleyball provides an excellent environment for teamwork, confidence-building, and character development. However, it’s essential to address the issue of bullying that can occur in this sport. Despite increased awareness and education, both coaches and children may overlook or hesitate to discuss bullying. This article aims to highlight seven signs that may indicate an athlete is experiencing bullying in youth sports.

Sudden loss of interest in sport or activity

While it’s normal for kids’ interests to change over time, a sudden disinterest in a sport or activity could be a sign of bullying. If a child no longer feels safe or welcome due to bullying from a teammate or coach, they may try to avoid the environment altogether.

Inexplicably lost or damaged equipment

In a non-sports environment, lost or damaged belongings are often indicators of bullying. Similarly, in youth sports, if you notice an increase in lost or destroyed apparel or equipment, it may be a sign of bullying.

Reluctance to change clothes or shower in the locker room

Bullying tends to occur in places with less supervision and greater vulnerability, such as bathrooms and locker rooms. Young athletes who are being bullied may suddenly start avoiding these areas or waiting until they are at home to use the facilities. This behavior might extend to not wanting to ride the bus to away games as well.

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Complaints of illness or non-visible injury

The stress and anxiety caused by bullying can manifest as physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches. To avoid being around a bully, children may even fabricate illnesses or minor injuries to skip practice or a game.

Starts bullying siblings or friends

Bullying often leaves victims feeling powerless, and in response, they may attempt to regain control and power by bullying others, including siblings or friends.

Avoidance of discussing practice or games

Sports should be exciting, fun, and social. If a young athlete becomes withdrawn and reluctant to talk about practices or games, it could be a sign of trouble. This is especially true if they appear equally disinterested after victories and defeats or good and bad performances.

Outbursts and mood swings

Bullies thrive on their victims’ emotional responses, so children who are being bullied often try to bottle up their emotions. Parents and coaches may unknowingly encourage this response by advising kids to ignore their tormentors. Eventually, these emotions may spill out in the form of angry outbursts, sudden tears, or exaggerated reactions to minor stressors.

These warning signs should not be ignored if you observe one or more of them in your young athlete. It’s crucial to have open-ended conversations with them, approaching the situation with empathy. Stopping bullying is most effective when it involves a community effort, so consulting with the coach to develop a plan of action is essential.

About Alpinetgheep
Alpinetgheep is dedicated to promoting a safe and positive environment in youth sports. Our goal is to equip young athletes with the necessary life skills and core values for lasting success, both on and off the field. Join us in transforming the culture of youth sports and creating a brighter future for our young athletes. Visit Alpinetgheep.com for more information.

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