How To Handle A Team Bully?

Lounge By sweetsbycheryl Updated 2 Oct 2008 , 5:25pm by KHalstead

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sweetsbycheryl Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 1:21pm
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Ok, this is the problem. My daughter plays high school volleyball and there is one girl on the team who continually puts several of her teammates down constantly, telling them they aren't good enough, they don't belong on the team, etc. The girls involved are getting fed up and one of them who is a very mild mannered girl finally told the troublemaker off. The coach involved has not really done much about it, other than to bench her one game after the girl got paricularly nasty to one of her teammates last night. My daughter is really fed up with this girl as well, and asked me for advice on how to handle it if she does it again, without running off to the coach and "being a snitch". Any advice, as this is a new problem for the girls to handle?

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alracntna Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 1:33pm
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maybe you should have a talk with the coach. and maybe even the principal. let them know if something is not done you will go to the paper with the story of the school allowing a bully to take over this team. schools don't like that. if this girl is hurting her team mate's self esteem she should not be on the team. maybe you could talk with this girls mother. i am not sure because high school is a difficult time for girls, for anyone. good luck!

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misserica Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:25am
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I was a victim of the bullying in HS and I will tell you that going to the principal is going to make it worse, and I know that is not what you want to hear. Well, it did in my case, the girls made fun more and harassed me more for snitching. A parent(s) should complain to the coach and document it, it would be better if more than one parent did this. Then one of the girls on the team really needs to open her mouth to the bully in front of the entire team, maybe in a practice. Embarrassing the bully in front of those being bullied will help, and preferably when the coach is in ear shot (make sure no cursing or mud slinging is going on, just someone standing up for the solidarity of the team, like "you know you are pretty nasty and it is destroying our team, and if coach ___ did not think we were good enough to play we would not be on the team"). I would guess that this girl is all mouth and no action (they always are) so when people finally stand up to her she will back down, it may not happen at first but once she realizes she is up against more than one, she will quiet down. I am not encouraging this but it did work, one quick slug in the face and a girl never bothered me again...but I am in NO WAY promoting violence. There is a better way. Please keep me posted on this.

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sweetsbycheryl Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 3:22pm
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Update on the situation: The coach heard her make comments to the other girls at the last game and benched her for the whole game- unfortunately did not make much of a difference as she was at it again last night at practice. I do not want to go to the principal or the coach myself, unless the situation is not taken into hand by the coach very soon. I have advised my daughter to have her and the other girls gang up and tell this girl that they have had enough, and then go to the coach themselves- my daughter is almost grown, and I want her to learn to handle things for herself, however I will step in if something is not done VERY soon. Thanks for the comments!!

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Pookie59 Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 6:09pm
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If the coach had any balls, he'd throw her off the team permanently.

I was a victim of bullying in the 7th grade and my life was hell for the better part of a year. Notifying school officials did nothing to ease the problem. Actually, the school principal was totally unsympathetic; he didn't want to be bothered and treated me like I was the problem, it was all my fault, etc. The girls involved were a grade higher, so when they went off to high school I got a reprieve.

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chutzpah Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 6:31pm
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I really hope everything works out. This girl is obviously very insecure about her own performance.

I was bullied every single school day (and even most non-school days) for years and years.

They need to stand up to her as a group, and go to the coach as a group. If only one does it, it might become worse for that girl.

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sweetsbycheryl Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 6:41pm
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We'll find out tonight after practice- a couple other parents and I finally had a little heart to heart with the coach and told her that WE as the parents were fed up with nothing being done about her (that way the girls are not involved). The coach has assured us that she will take the problem in hand at practice tonight, and that she was not aware that it had gotten this bad- one of the other moms told her that if nothing was done, then she was pulling her daughter off the team- Me? I will take it up the ladder to the head coach (the Varsity Coach who is head of all three teams).
Thanks for the support guys!!

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sweetsbycheryl Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 1:35pm
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OK, here's the latest update- The coach had a talk with all the girls last night as a group, letting them know that she had noticed how some of the lousy attitudes were destroying the team unity, and that it would not be tolerated. After that, she had an individual meeting with each girl, to let her know how she is doing with her playing skills. The "meeting" with the particular offender took twice as long as the others, and when the girl came out, she was crying, so I am pretty sure the coach called her out on her behavior. Let's hope that this is the end of it. Thanks for the support and comments!! thumbs_up.gif

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KHalstead Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 1:51pm
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I was going to suggest that maybe the other girls as "a team" buy her a card and get together and all sign it and maybe write a little note to the effect of:

We don't know you that well, we can't imagine what you may or may not be going through that has you feeling so down and on the offense all the time or like you're not our friend or a part of "our team", but we feel very lucky to have you as a part of our team and would like to have a closer relationship with you for the betterment of the "team". It does none of us any good when you're unable to play, we're a team and we need ALL of us to be at our best so we can win.

Most bullies bully because they are insecure or because they are being bullied elsewhere. This girl may have a really rough home life or may be going through some huge tragedy in her never know! The last thing she probably needs is to get yelled at by the coach and feel left out by the other girls. Girls can be catty, there's no doubt....but sometimes all these "bullies" need is someone to befriend them.

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Pookie59 Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 2:07pm
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KHalstead, I don't agree that bullies are generally people looking for friends. That sure wasn't my experience with the bullies I dealt with.

Insecure? Yes, probably. Undoubtedly that girl has some issues, but she absolutely needs to know that her behavior will not be tolerated. Why coddle her?

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KHalstead Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 5:25pm
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I'm not saying coddle her or make her think that her behavior is acceptable, but sometimes there are deeper issues going on. People that lash out at others for no reason are often hurting and that's why their reaction is to hurt!
I was bullied before too as a teenager and not because of anything I did per say, (it was all because I liked a boy another girl liked...stupid) and this girl had a horrible home life and it was MY reaction to her bullying (which was to tell her that I knew she was hurting and that's why she was trying to "hurt" me and if she needed a friend she was missing out on a great opportunity) and because I didn't lash back at her or run to the nearest adult, this girl was able to realize that other people knew she was insecure and needy and that was the reason she was so mean, not because she was cool or liked by anyone! Mind you, I said this to her after she physically pummeled me to the ground and about nearly scratched my eyes out!! She told me many years later (we wound up living in the same apt. complex later in life) that I had given her a wake up call. She was so shocked that after all the taunting and then the physical blows she dealt me that I would still offer to be her friend that she stopped being a bully!!! I was not the only person she was lashing out at, which is most often the case!

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