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Mar
07

Bullying

Bullying

“Stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone.”

Bullying is unfortunately and devastatingly common. No matter how many times we say it is wrong, hurtful, disappointing, and disrespectful and so forth, we still have bullies.

In softball we see bullies on the field, in the dugout, between games, at practices, and even among the parents. We hear negative words, witness harsh expressions, and disrespectful behavior. We have coaches, athletes, and parents who stand by idle who turn a blind eye, and we have some that speak up against it. We hear parents or athletes say it is because they are “competitive” and don’t truly mean those harsh and critical comments. But that is not an excuse, and you should not allow it to be. Whether they mean it or not, it is being said. Those words are still being directed toward an athlete, coach, and/or parent and it still causes problems emotionally and environmentally.  There is no excuse for bullying. NONE.

Does your team have a bully or bullies? Do you stand by and let it happen, or do you stand up for yourself and/or whoever is being bullied?

Watching it happen is just as bad as being the bully itself.

Don’t be the person that hurts another because you are jealous.

Don’t be the person that puts others down so you look or feel better about yourself.

Don’t be the person that watches in the background while others get hurt.

As a coach, parent, or athlete it is important to remember to look at yourself  in the mirror and understand who you are and who you want to be. A person that inspires, motivates, supports, respects, and helps the team, or a person who is jealous, negative, demeaning, and distruptive to the team? Whether it is a few words here and there, or a vast amount of words used constantly and consistently, it is detrimental and causes harm, EVERY SINGLE TIME.

You may not think your words are hurting your athlete, teammate, coach, or parent, but they are.  You may believe that you are “just being hard on them” or “toughening them up” but their is a difference between bullying and constructive criticism. Some may be able to hold back and not let you see it hurt them, some won’t be able to hold those emotions in and hide their tears or brokenness, and some will lash out causing an even bigger disruption to the team and the individuals. CHOOSE positivity, support, and respect! It doesn’t matter if you are saying it to them in person or behind their back, IT IS HARMFUL. They don’t just cause tears, anger, frustration, and fear. They cause depression, anxiety, terror, lack of confidence, negative thoughts and actions, and that is just to name a few.

Don’t be the cause, be the CHANGE. Your words can either hurt someone or save someone, which person do you want to be?

DO NOT BE A BULLY.

DO NOT STAND BY.

DO NOT WATCH.

DO NOT FOLLOW.

SPEAK UP AGAINST BULLYING.

BE THE CHANGE.

Bullying should not be tolerated in any circumstance. Let’s start being a part of the change of saving lives instead of destroying them.

You know the saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Well, we also believe that, “if you do have something nice to say, say it.”

Kind words save lives. Unkind words destroy them. Choose wisely.

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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