Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Cliques And Conflict

Share This Resource

This resource stems from a Case Study found in the “What Do You Do When?” chapter of Jim Thompson’s book, Elevating Your Game.

My team is divided into cliques who only hang out with each other. Now two groups are fighting. We are supposed to be a team! What can I do about this?

Groups can be scary to a lone individual, so people often try to make friendships with others to protect themselves within a larger group. High school is an especially hard time for many teens, so it’s not surprising that they form friendly alliances with people who will accept and appreciate them. But groups degrade to become cliques when they shut people out and become instruments of criticism and cruelty. When cliques infect a team, they can break down team unity and lead to division and conflict. So, what can you do about it?

Proactively reach out to those who are not part of your group: Extend yourself beyond your group of friends. Start conversations with individual teammates you don’t know well. Often, you can get to know someone best in a one-on-one situation. Ask different teammates to do something together — going to a movie or a restaurant or your home. Being on a team is great for getting to know people you’d never know otherwise. Don’t miss a chance to make new friends and unite your team to prevent cliques from forming.

If you are excluded from a clique, understand it is not about you: People who put others down are mostly insecure about themselves.

To read the full response, including more ways to avoid cliques and conflict on your team, download the book excerpt found below.

To purchase the entire Elevating Your Game book, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive student-athlete workshops, click here.

Download the Excerpt

  • Type: PDF Document
  • Size: 284 KB
Download the PDF