I coach youth wrestling and this year I’ve ran into my first trouble kid. He teases other kids, makes undermining comments about practice and clearly has a problem with authority. My initial reaction was to pull him aside and reprimand him for the behavior but I believe that might be an all to common problem at leading to the behavior now. I recently got my certification and I’m sure I’ll run into people down the road with similar problems. Not sure what to do any suggestions?
the others are correct in suggesting that this is an issue that should be addressed by the parents. As it appears nowadays, though, many parents do not necessarily own up to this responsibility. They may have put him into your program in hopes that you will be the one who sets him straight.
I assume that you are part of a larger organization, and I would also touch base with other coaches because this is certainly a common problem.
One responsibility that you have, though, is the safety of the other participants. The line between teasing and bullying is blurry.
Thanks for the responses. Karin I completely agree with you and since the parents might be a factor in the behavior I am going to have to go with Susan’s suggestion of making the kid an assistant. It’ll hopefully motivate him and give him something to feel good about. I can have him take attendance or warm up the team. Thanks for your suggestions, they were helpful.
Hi Michael. I do not know about this specific case, but I agree that more often than note, the root of the child’s bad behavior can be found at the parents. Therefore, while speaking with the parents is probably still a good idea, I wouldn’t be surprised if you run into denial, deflection and perhaps even excuses. I do not know if I agree with making him an assistant. This could be seen as some sort of ‘reward for bad behavior’ to the other kids as he would appear to be put in a leadership position by them. What message would this be giving the others?
Of course the final decision on how to handle this situation is entirely up to you, but after speaking with the parents, and counseling the kid, if the behavior continued, if I were in this position, I would consider suspending or removing him from the team.
My two cents.