Bullying is a disease that practically affects children in all aspects of their life and sports is no exception. In fact, in youth sports bullying can be all the more brutal because a child's self-confidence can actually get major set back due to taboo around sports in schools. Another hard fact is that in most of the cases kids end up being silent victims of bullying without even reporting it.
The only way to curb bullying is to educate children about the ill effects of bullying. Coaches and parents can take up the task with their respective teams. This will not only secure a healthy environment for children to live in but will also bring out better sports personality in each one of them. While the task of educating children can be pretty elaborate, here are a few practical tips that will help children stand-up against bullying.
Do not participate in bullying: This will be the first thing that children need to know. Bullying can be verbal, physical and emotional. Mocking someone, defaming someone, spreading rumors, hitting, snatching personal belongings or troubling in any way is bullying and children need to be told to refrain from it. However, these incidences might not be bullying if there is one time incidental occurrence. It may just be a part of normal child behavior in a group, but if the incidence becomes a repeated exercise or bothers the child involved, it is bullying.
Ask the bully to stop: When bullied or even on witnessing bullying, the first thing you must do is tell the bully to stop. In most cases the bully goes on doing it because no one tells them not to, every one is scared and that is the motivation that keeps the bully going on. Also, it is important to tell an adult about the bullying, preferably the coach if it's in the team.
Ask the bystanders to stop: Usually in bullying there are one or two kids leading the bullying and then there are bystanders, people who are encouraging, laughing or even just watching the bullying. Tell the bystanders that they are making the problem worse by being around and encouraging the act. When children around start looking down upon an act of bullying, it will be a major discouragement for the bully.
Befriend the victim: If you see a child getting bullied, reach out to the child and try and include her in your friends' group. This could help the victim feel better and also discourage the bully as bullies usually target the weak and lonely.
Voice your concern: Do not be afraid to voice your concern even if you are the only one doing it. More kids will definitely join in if they see that you are right and you have the courage to stand for it.