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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2014 > Coach's Box - February > Understanding Proven Methods to Preventing Bullying and Hazing

Understanding Proven Methods to Preventing Bullying and Hazing

Understanding Proven Methods to Preventing Bullying and Hazing

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There is no better feeling than being a part of a good team. Whether you’re the star player, keeping a pitch count or coaching first base, when all the members of a team are working together, having fun and respecting each other, your team will be successful and your players will have a meaningful Little League experience, regardless of how many notches are in the win column.

One of the ways that coaches can help make that team experience a positive one for all players is being what - Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) calls a Double-Goal Coach®. One key to being a Double-Goal Coach, committed to pursuing wins while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports, is ensuring players are exposed to an enjoyable and safe team environment. PCA defines “Safety” as all forms of physical, mental and emotional well-being of players.

Baseball and softball provide the opportunity for players to get past their own inhibitions, but this is extremely difficult to do if a culture of bullying, hazing or exclusion exists. You want to make the baseball and softball experiences of your players so enjoyable that the boys and girls, and their parents, want to sign up again next year without a second thought.

Managers and coaches who create a positive culture now -- teaching even the youngest players how to prevent and avoid bullying, hazing and exclusion -- will lay a great foundation for players’ future health and safety.

Exclusion through bullying and hazing take many forms, so take it seriously. Any situation where children feel like they don’t want to be a part of the team is important enough for you to investigate.

Take the time to speak with your team and your parents about bullying, hazing or exclusion and ask for their support in making the Little League experience great for all the kids. Learning and enjoyment go hand-in-hand, producing plenty of special moments on the field and just as many off.

Here are some tips on how to do address bullying, hazing or exclusion:

  • Coaches and administrators should have a zero-tolerance policy. Share that policy, in writing, with everyone involved in your program.
  • Coaches can cultivate camaraderie by teaching teammates to respect each other. Emphasize this at every practice and game, because operating in an environment of respect will improve individual and team performance and lend to better teaching and learning of life lessons through sports.
  • Parents should check in frequently with their youth athletes, using open-ended prompts, such as “Tell me about practice.” Listen and watch carefully for any change in your child, such as suddenly not wanting to practice or participate in team activities.
  • Athletes should remember that the strongest team leaders don’t just refrain from hazing or bullying; they actually shut it down when they see it.

On-field performance of your team is important, but what really measures success is how your entire team works together to play fair, strive to win and do their best.

Positive Coaching Alliance offers an assortment of related information on bullying and hazing. We strongly encourage you to check out these links and share with the parents and players in your league.

Postive Coaching Alliance offers an assortment of related information on bullying and hazing. We strongly encourage you to check out these links and share with the parents and players in your league.

Google+ Hangout on Bullying and Locker Room Culture

Google+ Hangout on Phasing Out Hazing

For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the Little League Double-Goal Coach® Course at http://shopping.positivecoach.org/Little-League-DGC, and for a video that explains Double-Goal Coaching in more detail, visit www.LittleLeague.org/pca.


Volume 9 | Issue 2 | Coach's Box Newsletter February 2014 | Sign-Up | Coaches Resource Center