At all levels I had teammates that didn’t get along and man can I tell you it is a drag. It’s a challenging topic but one that needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand. This is usually bad for the collective but can be resolved. When this happens, coaches and players must be brave in conflict resolution. Everyone involved has to be willing to be open and understanding to make the situation any bigger. Being a good teammate has to be at the forefront if you want to be seen as a good player and a player that scouts would look for in a player. Here are the two most important aspects of this situation for a solution:
1. It has to be communicated
With anything in life, communication is the key. Communication sparks transparency and I think transparency is essential for resolution. When people aren't transparent and beat around the bush, it lends itself to a toxic relationship. Relationships on the soccer field have to be at the forefront because it is the foundation of any good team. The relationships are what help the team on the field and the thing that makes players feel apart of something bigger than themselves. This is powerful and is up to the coach to make sure players respect each other on the field. Coaches have to be willing to talk to the players and let them know the importance of teammate work and respect. Letting the players know that that type of behavior is never acceptable and not what soccer is about. I think a big part of being a youth soccer coach is understanding your teams dynamic and establishing a healthy culture that breeds teamwork, hard work, dedication, commitment, and hard work. Coaches are responsible for everything that goes on with there team, and that needs to be a priority before any soccer ball is dribbled.
2. After it is on the table, it has to be left alone. (teammates need to respect each other)
Once the coach has done his job and has talked to the players, who weren't getting along about what is expected when a member of the team, then the players have to be mature enough to respect the coaches wishes and move on. Players sometimes become toxic, and that is never good for anyone. If I player refuses to buy into the culture, the next step might be to get parents involved in the situation. Parents can hopefully talk with their kid to reiterate the importance of respect and how one should treat a teammate. You want your players to hold each other accountable, and not have a kid being too tough on a teammate and affecting his or her performance. Soccer is a fun game, and it should be fun. The second someone crosses the line; you have to let everyone know there is a standard and you will not lower standards for some.