There has been a lot of drama on my team lately. I was just wondering what the best way to deal with it would be because I really want to have a strong season and close relationships within our team. P.S. – I love your blog!
I think the easiest and simplest way to deal with it is to have the team captains (or a couple seniors, if you don’t have team captains) say something to the team without the coaches present. Not that my friends and I didn’t respect our coaches but we always took things like this more seriously when they came from our teammates/friends. It was always like, if it’s escalated to the point where the upperclassmen are saying something, that’s how you know people are tired of the bullshit. Remind everyone that you’re there to row, get fast, and win medals and you can’t do that if people are perpetuating rumors, causing unnecessary problems, creating rifts between teammates, etc. If you know of a specific incident, address it only with the people involved and remind others to do the same.
I’m so tired of reiterating this because I feel like I say it in some form or another at least once or twice a week. If you’re taking issues with another person and making them known to the entire team (particularly when 98% of the team has no idea what you’re talking about), then you’re just as responsible for any drama that comes out of that. I’ve already had to deal with two similar issues this week (it’s TUESDAY) and how “over it” I am is unquantifiable at this point.
It’s also important to remind the team that not everyone has to be friends but you do have to respect each other. You’re all out there trying to accomplish the same thing and you’re all (hopefully) putting in just as much hard work as the next person. Disrespect towards a coach or another teammate shouldn’t be accepted. If you’ve got an issue with someone, keep it out of practice and definitely off the water. I think “check your issues at the door” would be the most appropriate phrase for whatever issues your team is experiencing. Another important thing to address would be keeping stuff off of social media. The passive aggressive subtweets, Facebook/Tumblr posts, etc. directed at other people on the team can’t and shouldn’t be tolerated.
Let the team know who to go to too if they’re having issues with someone or know of issues that need to be addressed so that it can be handled by someone who’s neutral to what’s actually happening. On our team, it’s our two team captains (both seniors) and I that deal with the majority of the issues that come up. Listen to what they have to say, stay neutral, and then address it accordingly.