January 30, 2016

Should You Quit a Team Just Because Someone is Picking on You?

Hey Brandon!

I’m on the soccer team at school and there’s this jerk that’s always picking on me.  He’s poured Gatorade into my cleats and tripped me during our games.  I could almost understand his behavior if he were on the opposing team.  But, get this…HE’S MY TEAMMATE!  I’ve even lost 3 soccer balls thanks to this hater “accidently” kicking my ball over the fence and into the woods.  Since he’s giving me such a hard time, should I leave the team? I no longer enjoy the game because of this guy!

Soccer Stinks!

Dear Soccer Stinks! Wow, soccer really does stink, if you have to put up with treatment like that! I’m sorry to hear it!!

But does SOCCER really stink? I’m guessing it’s not the game. It’s just this one guy, right? When you imagine hitting the field without this guy on the team, do you start grinning and dribbling an imaginary ball? One person shouldn’t have the power to make you miserable doing something you’ve always loved.

From the sound of it, this goes way beyond “picking on you.” Maybe one ball over the fence could be an accident, but three? No way. And aside from the balls, this guy is damaging your property—from what I understand, soccer cleats aren’t cheap. But the thing that worries me the most? You could break an ankle or something if he keeps on tripping you during games. There’s a reason he’d get a red card if a ref saw him do it.

Normally, I’d suggest you try to talk to someone who has a problem with you, and see if there’s a way you can work it out. But, honestly! I think you need to take this one to the adults. Maybe a coach or a ref has noticed the on-field antics. But whether they’ve noticed or not, you need to fill someone in on what’s happening on and off the field. Let the adults figure out what’s next. If anyone should leave the team, I think it should be this guy who’s giving you so much trouble.

I know you want to be able to solve this yourself and you might worry about being a tattletale. But, what if you end up with broken bones? And if he gets tired of messing with you, that type of guy will probably just move on to messing with someone else. It really sounds to me like he needs help. And you need to get back your love of the game!

What do you guys think? When do you deal with a bully yourself and when do you involve an adult?