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How Can I Keep Jealousy From Splitting My Team?

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"I coach a U-13 boys lacrosse team, but this question could apply to any team sport. We have two natural goal scorers, who also distribute the ball to teammates when they're open, often assisting on goals. Yet some players call these leading scorers 'ball hog' or 'selfish'. I emphasize ball movement, assists and winning ground balls. What else can I do to keep resentment from the 'non-scorers' from fracturing our team?"

PCA Response by Eric Eisendrath, Former PCA Lead Trainer
Your current emphases have laid the groundwork for improving this situation. You may just need to tweak some of the ways in which you continue to deliver consistent messages about the importance of ball movement and make sure you positively reinforce the behavior you desire.

Perhaps the most important thing to address is a notion of respect for one's teammates. Without mentioning names or discussing any players' accusations, explain to the whole team how you expect them to address each other. Stress the importance of respecting teammates as a component of Honoring the Game.

Advise your players on better ways to communicate with their teammates. For example: "If you are upset with a teammate, or feel you are open, express it in a positive way." You may need private, individual conversations with each of the accusers to reinforce the importance that they communicate well with teammates.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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