Let’s face it. About this time of the season some conflicts begin to rear their ugly heads. Something happened somewhere and someone feels wronged so they begin to argue or lash out. Often this happens when you are losing, but it is not exclusive to that.
Focus on Doing Right
The bottom line is that we have to forget about what the other team is doing wrong, and focus on how we can act right! If the other team is completely disrespecting us, we must kill them with kindness. If they are yelling and screaming, we must sit back and allow them to hang themselves.
Where are the Parents?
And MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL! We, as parents, must control our children, and let the other team worry about theirs. Why would an adult argue with a child of another team? What can possibly be gained from this exchange? Do not stoop to other’s levels, conduct yourself as an adult.
As managers, we have to take the lead on this. We have to DEMAND that our kids act with respect and demonstrate sportsmanship even when we are not getting the same in return. We have to simply demand that our players act with a level of dignity, whether winning or losing, regardless of how the other team is acting. There is no other option.
My teams will NEVER disrespect another team. I may have a player get out of line occasionally, but this is IMMEDIATELY nipped in the bud and if it recurs, punishments are doled out such as sitting out the rest of the game or for the next game. My players know this, they know I mean it, they don’t push this limit because they know they will lose.
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect are very important lessons to be learned in Little League . Please make sure to:
- Clearly define your rules
- Always enforce them
- Never deviate from them even if it means losing the game
- Communicate clearly and effectively.
Getting in front of this will insure that your team plays with respect. When conflicts arise, your team will rest assured that you will handle it and that you have their best interests in mind. They will not feel the need to get involved and you will avoid potential blow up situations.
How do you handle heated situations? What do you do to diffuse the situation?