Social skills advice for high school team sports. : LUSENET : APA Division 47 Exercise and Sport Psychology : One Thread

To anyone who might be interested:

I have been trying to find advice for a boy about to enter organized high school sports. In asking friends I have collected a number of suggestions which might capture the type of thing I have in mind:


Remember the coach isn't your buddy. The coach is the coach.

The coach is always right. (Unless he is really crazy, and then you don't want to be playing for him.)

Nobody likes a complainer, don't complain and just accept your fate if you aren't the star of the team or if things are going badly this season.

The team is the thing. If you end up being a blocker for the star, or the assist man for the guy who gets all the points, then that is life.

Cheer the other guy.

If you have a problem with someone don't go talking about him behind his back, go directly to the source of the problem and speak you mind.

Give 100%, work your butt off.

Don't think you are hot stuff coming out of 8th grade onto a high schoolteam. (Or at least until you have proved it.)

Don't get on drugs.

Don't back down when guys try to intimidate you, they want to know if you are tough enough to be there when things get bad.

You have to learn to take criticism and use it to improve. (How you manage to do this is another whole matter.)


Each of these, of course, has many exceptions and qualifications. But they could be beginning points of a more extensive discussion of the issues they raise. What I have in mind is social advice on how to NOT end up being the outcast of the team through being aware of proper team sport's etiquette and having good social skills for this type of situation.

I have been told that more traditional sport specific coaching books will sometimes offer similar thoughts and comments often in the context of slogans and witticisms, such as the classic: "There is no I in TEAM".

This list also could be considered to be a subset of a much more general discussion of how to get along in any male group since much of it would apply to how any male group would work. (general guy advice/ boy scout type advice/ etc) And, of course, this type of advice would also apply to girls teams to a fair degree.

Have you run across any especially good books(s)/ source(s)/ article(s)/ newsgroups/ individual(s) which/ who might be able to greatly expand on such a list for players on sports teams, both in depth and the number of items?

Please feel free to forward this question to anyone who you think might be interested.

If you can, please reply to my e-mail address directly as well as to this message board.

Best Wishes, Charles DeWitt

-- Charles DeWitt (, September 07, 2000

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