How to Deal With Toxic Teammates | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep.039

Welcome back to another week of the Ask A Soccer Pro Show! This week we break down some of the most challenging issues players face, and I talk about the hardest thing to deal with as a pro. Here are a few of the topics we cover in episode 39:

  • A quick Perfect Soccer update
  • The hardest thing to deal with as a pro
  • Asking for more playing time
  • How much training a day do you need to go pro?
  • Relationships between coaches and players
    Dealing with toxic teammates

Make sure to catch the replay if you missed the live, and don’t forget; I go live on Instagram every Thursday at 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST to answer your questions!


The Hardest Thing to Deal with As A Pro

I think the hardest thing to deal with as a pro is not getting the credit you may deserve or believe you deserve. When you don’t get the credit that you deserve, you may not have what you need to make that next move or transition, or to get the next opportunity. Having the credit you deserve is especially essential when it comes to compensation or a contract!

If you build up enough of a track record or resume, results and stats speak for themselves, or so you would think. Sometimes the way that people interpret stats is different than what you would expect.

Having access to information, data, and statistics is valuable to a degree. But more valuable is how you interpret that information and use it to make decisions.

For instance, a lot of people make their decision of who is a good player based on who scores a lot of goals. Now, scoring goals is obviously an excellent attribute for a soccer player. But, technically, you only need to score one more goal than the opposing team to win the game. And, it doesn’t matter who scores the goal, as long as it goes in.

Depending on the perspective you want to take on how you assess information and make decisions, would determine how valuable certain information is versus other details.

If you are of the mindset that the goal scorer stat matters more than anything else, that may be the most valuable stat to you. But, what if you looked at a stat that isn’t documented, like what kind of person a player is?

What if you looked at this stat, and you saw that the person who scores the most goals is the worst person on the team. They’re not a team player; they’re a cancer in the locker room, they make things difficult for everyone around them. Would you still consider their value to be the same?

Now, in many organizations I’ve been in, the coaching staff values the goal scorer above all else. If you are the person who scores lots of goals, you’re getting the credit you need to make your next move.

But, let’s say you are a defensive center midfielder, you’re not going to score many goals or create many goal-scoring opportunities. If that is the most ‘valuable’ asset of a team or organization, how is it that you are creating value, or getting the credit you need so that you can make your next transition or move?

Therein lies the difficulty of being a pro, figuring out how to find that balance between getting the credit for the things that you’ve done, getting people to see the value in what you do, and have those people be willing to compensate you or give you a contract for doing so.

Dealing with Toxic Teammates

Toxic teammates… we’ve all had them. They’re negative and narcissistic, and quite frankly, they aren’t a whole lot of fun to be around. But, how do you deal with them for the good of the team?

The first question you need to ask yourself, ‘are you willing to learn to work with toxic teammates?’

Many players are not.

If you can figure out how to work with both positive, fun teammates, and also toxic teammates, you become extremely valuable.

Often people who are negative and toxic are going through a hard time and are having trouble processing whatever trauma they are dealing with. Now, if these teammates are negative toward you, you have to consider that they are offering you their most valuable asset, their time. They are craving your attention.

So, spin negativity into positivity and take your toxic teammate’s behavior as an opportunity. You have the chance to help them. Often, there is some trauma there, something happened to this person, and as a result, they are behaving this way. They may not even know what occurred to trigger this behavior; so, they are frustrated and projecting their frustration onto you.

Remember, negativity is just someone else’s insecurities projected onto you.

Final Thoughts

If I weren’t able to deal with the haters and negative people I encounter, there would be zero chance I would be here, writing this article and sharing my experiences with you. None of the people that ‘hate me’ or think I’m ‘stupid’ would even be willing to read this or join me on the lives. But they are watching and reading! 

I can’t believe we’re already on episode 39, time flies! Thank you for your support and for joining me in the MSL! I’m so excited for you to see what my team has in the works…

Until next time!