Bullying Bystanders Become Upstanders
Many of us have been bystanders in difficult situations where we are uncertain of what action to take to help improve the outcome of a certain scenario. And while it is common to feel this way, there are steps you can take to create change.
Especially when it comes to bullying.
What is a bystander? Bystanders in bullying and cyberbullying situations are kids and teens who witness bullying and cyberbullying in action but do and say nothing to change or stop it.
If you stand by and watch, videotape or make the bullying incident go viral you are sending the message to the bully that what they are doing is acceptable. And it is NOT.
That also means you are a part of the problem and not the solution! Fear of retaliation or exclusion may be preventing you from taking steps to help an outsider, but there are small things you can do to support the victim and show the bully their behavior is not acceptable.
As an upstander you can support the bully victim by:
- Not laughing
- Not encouraging the bully in any way
- Not participating
- Not making a video and posting it online
- Telling an adult
It can be scary to confront a bully, but it’s time to stand up and take action. Help the bully victim in any way you can – reaching out in friendship, inviting them to join you if they’re being isolated, or including them in your activities.
How to Prevent Bullying
Remember that there are strength in numbers! Every school and community has more kids who care than kids who bully. Becoming an upstander and actively speaking out against bullying takes courage, assertiveness, compassion and leadership.
To be an upstander, you must take action to:
Tell the bully to stop
Get others to stand up to the bully with you
Help the victim
Shift the focus and redirect the bully away from the victim
It takes courage to tell a friend who is bullying to stop, but you are ultimately doing them a huge favor by helping them stop hurtful behavior. Your friend, and others, may not realized they are bullying someone. By taking small steps like saying “that’s bullying”, “stop it now”, you can really open others eyes to the problem.
Be a leader in your social group and speak up – teaching others to recognize bullying and take steps to help STOMP Out Bullying!
Become a Teen Ambassador for STOMP Out Bullying
If you are an Upstander against bullying, have excellent grades, public speaking experience and are a leader in your school or community you could be a Teen Ambassador. Learn more about how to apply here.
Coaches, imagine if there was a way to gain insight, understanding, and connection with your athletes by asking a simple question? There is. let me explain how.
A few years back, I coached a talented, yet underperforming sixteen-year-old girl I will call Maddy. She was incredibly inconsistent in her play and often looked very depressed. She was definitely lacking in confidence. Her friends told me she was unsure whether to continue playing or not. After trying multiple ways to help her play the way I believed she was capable of, I called her in for a meeting.
I spent the first 30 minutes of our time together offering my thoughts and suggestions, but as I rambled on and on I could tell she was simply tuning out. Here I was, the highly experienced coach, offering my years of wisdom, and she wasn’t listening.
“Maddy, if you don’t start taking my advice, I can’t really help you. I don’t know what else to say,” I shrugged.
“It’s all good stuff coach, but none of that stuff helps me with my problem,” she replied.
“Really?” I exclaimed. “Then perhaps you better tell me what the problem really is, because I clearly am not helping right now.” I waited for her answer.
‘It’s my Dad,” she said. “Whenever you play me on his side of the field, he is constantly telling me what to do, where to be, when to be there, and I can hear him and see him getting angrier and angrier with me. I think I play a lot better when I play on the side where the teams sit, and away from the parents. At least that way I can’t hear him.”
I thought about it for a second, and she was right. She did seem to play better on the team side of the field. I could honor this request, without affecting the team much. “I can help with that Maddy, no problem at all. Why didn’t you ever say something about that before? I can certainly help you with your position, and more importantly, I can go and speak to your Dad. Why did you wait until now to tell me?”
“Because you never asked,” she said stone faced.
My heart sank. She was right. All season long, I watched this girl struggle with her play and her confidence, and all I did was get upset and frustrated with her. I tried to solve the problem, without ever knowing the problem. All I had to do was ask one simple question, but I never did.
“What is one thing you wish your coaches knew that would help us coach you better?”
It is the question that changes everything. Not only for the athletes but for us coaches too.
Kyle Schwarz is a third-grade teacher at Doull Elementary School in Denver, CO. A few years back, she decided to start asking this question of her students in order to get to know them better, and the responses blew her away. As she details in her great book What I Wish My Teacher Knew, and as written about in this great article, the answers to this question open up a whole new level of insight from teacher to student, enabling a deeper connection, and the ability to teach the child, not simply the subject. As some kids wrote to her:
“I wish my teacher knew that my dad works two jobs and I don’t see him much.”
“I wish my teacher knew that I don’t have pencils at home to do my homework.”
“I wish my teacher knew that my dad got deported when I was 3 and I haven’t seen him in 6 years.”
“I wish my teacher knew that my family and I live in a shelter.”
“I wish my teacher knew that I am smarter than she thinks I am.”
Kyle Schwarz has certainly tapped into something here, not just for teachers but for coaches. The more we know about the kids we coach, the better we can serve them as both athletes and as people. When I read her book last year, my first thought was of Maddy and her situation with her father. I thought “why don’t coaches ask this same question from their athletes?”
Recently on our Way of Champions Podcast, Dr. Wade Gilbert, Jerry Lynch and I discussed how this year I started asking the kids I coach to finish the following sentence. We have also been suggesting to coaches at our workshops to have their athletes finish the following sentence, in writing, to be collected by the coach:
“One thing I wish my coaches knew about me that would help them coach me better is…”
The insight this exercise has given me to the kids I currently work with is unbelievable. Coaches who have done this with their teams have shared some of the responses they have received as well. Collectively, to protect anonymity, some of the things we have learned from our athletes are:
“I don’t like to be first in line to demonstrate new things. I usually don’t understand how to do things until I see them once, and it is kind of embarrassing when you ask me to go first.”
“When I make a mistake I would much rather you pull me out and tell me what to fix than yell it out in front of everyone.”
“I get really nervous when I am not playing well and my dad is at the game because he gets really upset in the car on the way home.”
“I don’t like to shoot because my old coach used to yell at me whenever I missed a shot, so now I prefer to pass.”
“I am sorry we don’t stay at the team hotel but my dad says we need to camp to save money.”
“I would practice more at home like you ask me to but last time I went to the park some older kids stole my ball.”
Coaches, the more our kids know how much we care, the more they will care how much we know. When we connect, when we show them respect and encouragement, when we communicate well, and when we listen to what they have to say, we build trust and let them know we care. The best way I have found to be a better listener is to start by asking good questions. And the best thing I have ever asked my players is for them to complete the magic sentence:
“One thing I wish my coach knew about me that would help him/her coach me better is…”
Please try this with your teams, and share with me what you learn. Don’t make the same mistake I made years ago with Maddy, assuming she didn’t care or was simply unteachable. Ask her! I am confident that it will have the same impact on your coaching as it did with mine. Good luck.
Katelyn and Beth have sent us a link to a fantastic article at wristband.com titles “Bullying by the Numbers: A Breakdown of Bullying Statistics and Facts”
All CMSA players from U11 to U18 and all CMSA Team Officials for U9 to U18 teams require a valid CMSA Photo ID card. You must have a CMSA ID number to have a card printed, this number is generated by your club.
Players and team officials can obtain a CMSA photo ID card by visiting the CMSA office during regular office hours or by appointment during the dates listed below. The player/official must be present to receive their card as their photo will be taken.
- New cards and replacement cards are $10.00
- If your card has expired, there will be no cost for a new one if you bring in the expired card.
Extended hours for Photo ID Cards (by appointment only) are as follows:
|Monday October 16 – Thursday October 19||4:00PM – 8:00PM||CMSA Office|
|Saturday October 21 – Sunday October 22||10:00AM – 5:00PM||Calgary West Soccer Centre|
|Monday October 23 – Thursday October 26||4:00PM – 8:00PM||CMSA Office|
|Saturday October 28 – Sunday October 29||10:00AM – 5:00PM||CMSA Office|
|Appointment bookings CLICK HERE|
|All CMSA players from U11 to U18 require a valid CMSA Photo ID card. A referee may ask that these cards be handed in to him/her at the start of a game. If a player cannot present their ID card, that player will not be allowed to participate in the game. Player Photo ID cards are valid for 4 years from the date of issue. Upon expiry, a player must acquire a new card at the CMSA office. Any player found using more than one (1), player ID card shall be suspended from all soccer activity until a CMSA Discipline hearing is held.||All CMSA Team Officials for U9 to U18 teams require a valid CMSA Photo ID. All team official Photo ID cards are valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Upon expiry, a team official must acquire a new card at the CMSA office. In the event that Team Officials for a specific team show up to a game without valid ID cards, they will be allowed to remain on the bench and the game will still be played, however, the referee will report the infraction on the CMSA game sheet for the purpose of review by the CMSA discipline committee. Teams are permitted to have one bench parent present at each game that does not require a photo ID card. The bench parent’s name must be listed on the game sheet.|
RESTRICTED MOVEMENT PASS
All registered U10 players playing-up on a U12 team in a league game require a restricted movement pass, signed by one of their team officials or Club Board of Directors. This pass must be given to the team the player is playing-up with. The pass, along with the game sheet is to be submitted to the Referee. Blank copies of the restricted movement pass can be downloaded from the CMSA website in the documents section.
IMPORTANT: You must register as a Player/Team Official with your local Soccer Club before coming down to the CMSA Office for an ID Card. If you have not yet been registered, CMSA will be unable to process your ID Card. Please see ‘How to Register my Child in Soccer’ for more information.
Below are the date and times for the first round of tryouts.
SHIN PADS ARE REQUIRED!
DO NOT wear outdoor cleats to these events
o Sunday October 1st – Calgary Soccer Centre, Albi Homes Field
4:00 – 4:50pm – preseason training
o Thursday October 5th – Thornecliffe Greenview – 6:15
– 7:15pm – preseason training
BU10 preseason training
o Thursday October 5th – Thornecliffe Greenview – 7:30
– 8:30pm – preseason training
o Wednesday October 4th – Calgary Soccer Centre, West fiel – 5:00 – 5:50pm – preseason training
o Friday October 6th- Calgary Soccer Centre, Albi Homes Field – 6:00 – 6:50pm – preseason training
o Sunday October 1st – Calgary Soccer Centre, Albi Homes Field – 5:00 – 5:50pm – scrimmage session
o Friday October 6th – Calgary Soccer Centre, Albi Homes Field – 7:00 – 7:50pm – scrimmage session
o Sunday October 1st – Calgary Soccer Centre, Albi Homes Field – 6:00 – 7:00pm – scrimmage session
o Wednesday October 4th – Calgary Soccer Centre, West field- 7:00 – 7:50pm – scrimmage session
o Wednesday October 4th – Calgary Soccer Centre, West field – 8:00 – 9:00pm – scrimmage session
o Friday October 6th – Calgary Soccer Centre, Albi Homes Field – 8:00 – 9:00pm – scrimmage session
Source: Stop out bullying – http://www.stompoutbullying.org/blog/?p=530
By Toni Birdsong on Oct 11, 2016
No one deserves to be bullied. October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and the perfect time to pause and educate your family on specific ways to help stop bullying online and off. Thanks to the Stomp Out Bullying movement, this month is packed with a variety of awareness events and tools to help parents, schools, and young people put an end to this devastating social epidemic.
According to the group, one in six students say they’ve either been the victim of some form of bullying or, witnessed others being bullied. And one in eight students has experienced bigotry and name calling. But what kind of behavior is considered harmless teasing and what dips into the realm of bullying? Let’s take a look:
Different Types of Bullying
Physical Bullying: This is the most obvious form of intimidation and can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, and making threats. A bully may threaten to punch you if you don’t give up your money, your lunch, etc.
Verbal Bullying: Words hurt. Verbal bullying often accompanies physical behavior. This can include name calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.
Emotional Intimidation: You don’t have to be insulted or hit to be bullied. Emotional intimidation is closely related to both physical and verbal bullying. A bully may deliberately exclude you from a group activity such as a party or school outing.
Sexual Bullying: This type of bullying often gets minimized or overlooked but is a problem. Sexual bullying is unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.
Cyberbullying: Because of technology’s primary role in our culture, one of the most common kinds of bullying today is cyberbullying. This is when one or a group of kids or teens uses technology (emails, Web sites, social media, chat rooms, instant messaging and texting) to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or target another person or group of people.
Hazing: Hazing is a ritualistic test and a task involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a gang, club, military organization or another group. This can include physical (sometimes violent) or mental (possibly degrading) practices.
Anti-Gay Bullying. Nine out of 10 LGBT students reported being harassed and bullied last year. Over one-third of LGBT students are physically assaulted at school because their sexual orientation and gender identity are different than those of heterosexual students. Over half of all students report hearing homophobic remarks often at school. More than 30% reported missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.
According to a 2014 McAfee study, cyberbullying is on the rise with 87% of youth having witnessed cyberbullying due to appearance (72%) race or religion (26%) and sexuality (22%). Pretty startling is this sad stat: 52% of teens have engaged in offline physical fights because of something that ignited online.
20 ways kids can help stomp out bullying:
According to Stomp Out Bullying, kids can have an enormous impact on the bullying crisis. Whether they know the person being bullied or not, kids can stop standing by and STAND UP! To safely support a victim:
2.Don’t encourage the bully in any way
3.Stay at a safe distance and help the target get away
4.Don’t become an “audience” for the bully
5.Reach out in friendship to a bullying victim
6.Help the victim in any way you can
7.Support the victim in private
8.If you notice someone being isolated from others, invite them to join you
9.Include the victim in some of your activities
10.Tell an adult if you see bullying or are bullied
11.Encourage your school to participate in Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention
12.Start a peer mentoring group at school
13.Raise awareness of bullying and cyberbullying prevention in your community
14.Teach friends about being tolerant
15.Ask your school to set up a private ballot box where kids who are being bullied can report it anonymously
16.Get someone to sponsor a conflict resolution team
17.Encourage school administrators to adopt Internet-use policies that address online hate, harassment, and pornography.
18.Create events in your school and community to raise anti-bullying Bullying Preventionawareness
19.Create bullying and cyberbullying prevention posters
20.Stand up and do something when you hear someone making jokes or comments about: Someone’s sexual identity, someone’s family member, someone’s weight, someone’s choice of dress, someone’s skin color, someone’s accent, or someone’s disability
For more creative ideas on how to be part of the anti-bullying solution, go to stompoutbullying.org. If you are an educator, parent, or student, you are in a powerful position to make a significant impact on this serious social crisis.
Signs your child may be a victim of bullying:
1.Looks anxious or upset if he or she receives a new text or alert on their phone.
2.Frequently gets headaches, nausea, or a stress-related illness. He or she increasingly asks to stay home from school or come home early from school.
3.Trouble sleeping and an increase in nightmares.
4.Becomes withdrawn, moody, angry or unwilling to discuss topics dealing with school, friends, or other peers.
5.Deletes or deactivates favorite social networks like Instagram or Facebook.
6.Suddenly loses his or her steady group of friends and refuses to talk about the details or place blame.
7.Decline in grades or a loss of interest in favorite hobbies, sports, or school clubs and activities.
8.Uses negative, hopeless, or suicidal references and may describe feelings as being lonely.
9.May begin to act out feelings of helplessness and frustration by bullying siblings or younger children in family’s social circles.
10.Tends to “lose” things like lunch money, electronics, or other expensive things bullies tend to take.
What to do if someone is bullying you:
Tell someone. Encourage your child to talk to a trusted adult. Many tweens and teens keep quiet when being bullied which often leads to more bullying and communicates to others that she is fair game for bullying. Encourage your child to come to you at the first sign of bullying or conflict online. Monitor his or her online circles and assess the tone of her online conversations.
Save all evidence. Print copies of messages and websites. Use the save feature on instant messages and take screen shots of posts or comments on social networks.
Report the abuse to the online platform, to school and/or police. Report the cyberbully to the social network in the Help section. If the perpetrator is another student, share evidence with the school counselor. Report the cyberbullying to the police or cyber crime unit in your area if the cyberbullying contains threats, intimidation or sexual exploitation.
The best defense against cyberbullying is a good offense, and that means doing whatever it takes to build and maintain open and honest communication with your child. While regularly conversing may not prevent cyberbullying, it does help you both effectively face challenges—together—as they arise.
A few years back, my wife Lauren and I took our kids back for one final visit to her childhood home in Fairport, NY. Her parents were preparing to sell their house and move to a warmer climate, and we took the opportunity to fly across the country to say some final goodbyes to the home they had lived in for nearly 40 years.
On our last afternoon, as the kids played with Grandma in the backyard and I was enjoying some quiet time, I glanced out the front window. There, I saw Lauren and her father Bruce, deeply engaged in conversation, shooting at their old driveway basketball hoop. They were playing HORSE, a game familiar to most where you get a letter if your opponent sinks a shot and you miss it. Once you get H-O-R-S-E you are out, and you lose bragging rights until the rematch happens.
As I watched them shoot, and rebound, and talk, and laugh, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was watching their final game of HORSE on that childhood basket, a basket that had seen thousands of those games over the previous decades.
I was witnessing a moment that had been relived countless times over the years. Bruce and Lauren were not talking about keeping your elbow in, or the release point of the shot. They were just being present. Connecting. Laughing. Even talking a little smack as they fought for the final set of bragging rights, on that final evening, in the driveway of their lives.
A game of HORSE at the end of the day was the way a father and his daughter carved out time for each other in their busy lives. For 40 years, it was their medium of connection, their place to put everything aside and be present for each other. It was beautiful.
When it comes to youth sports, we need more of that.
I recently saw this incredible video of 51-year-old Steve Peters, and his 80-year-old father Dennis, who still get together three or four times a week for a game of catch. It is their game of HORSE, their way of cutting through the clutter of the world and making time for each other. Watch it and try not to tear up. I know I did.
I teared up because it made me think of all those countless nights I had a catch with my dad. Just the two of us, out in the backyard, my dad tossing me grounders and pop flies, me imagining I was making that great catch in Yankee Stadium. I remember him inviting me into the outfield of his softball games between innings to throw a few, and always making time after the game to toss a few more.
I certainly do not remember every detail of those conversations we had, but one thing seems clear as day.
I never remember my Dad telling me “No, son, I don’t have time.”
My father was a business owner, a landlord, a coach, a husband, an avid gardener, and a guy who just loved to jump on his sailboat and head out into Long Island Sound. But he always found time to be a father first; to have a catch, to kick a ball, or play 9 holes at our local golf course.
As a father myself, living my own busy life now running a business, coaching teams, getting dinner on the table, and trying to be a good spouse, I really appreciate how tough it must have been for him to say “sure, grab our gloves and I will meet you out back” after a long day of work. How he probably had a dozen more pressing things to do, but he always chose me.
I only hope my kids feel the same about me, as I know I could do better.
I know there have been afternoons when my two kids wanted to go kick a ball, or shoot hoops, and I said no because I was too tired. Or I had to do something “important” like check the comments on our last Changing the Game Project Facebook post or see if that “important email” arrived.
WTF am I thinking? Has any dad, anywhere, ever said: “I regret all that time I spent tossing the baseball with my kid?”
I share this because in our fast-paced, outcome focused youth sports world these days, where we are led to believe that we must maximize every second of our young athletes lives to achieve that mythical “10,000 hours,” I wonder, are we finding enough time to play HORSE?
As we rush our kids from one private training session to their strength and conditioning coach, from one college showcase to the next on the opposite coast, are we making time to have a catch?
Do we ever take a break from the “Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports” to simply be present with our kids, to let them own the journey, and to simply connect? Do we switch off so they can too?
In a recent podcast I did with Jim Thompson, Founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance, he said something about coaching that really stuck with me: “Connection precedes commitment.”
Isn’t this true with our own kids as well? Before they commit to their journey of excellence, in whatever sport or activity they choose, isn’t it vital that they know we love them unconditionally, that we are connected, and that every moment does not have to exist simply for the pursuit of some far off, intangible extrinsic motivator like a scholarship, or a medal, or even a shot at the big leagues?
These days, my 11-year-old daughter Maggie likes to go out in the backyard and have me shoot soccer balls on her, or play 1v1. My 10-year-old son TJ and I love to hop on our bikes and ride down to the local 9 hole golf course and have a chipping contest, or simply see who makes the longest putt. The odds are astronomically small that any of this is in preparation for Maggie making a save in a World Cup Final, or TJ sinking the winning putt on the 18th hole at Augusta to win the Masters.
But the odds are quite high that the more time I find to putt and chip and shoot soccer and basketballs with my kids – and while doing it forget about developing great athletes and simply invest in building great people – the better the odds that they will trust me and be connected to me for those moments in life that really matter. No sporting outcome would be worth losing that.
We are led to believe that sport is all about the pursuit of glory, but the more I think about it, the longer I coach, and the more I watch my own kids play, the more I am convinced that this notion is wrong. The world’s most famous athletes are revered for winning, but ask them what they remember, and it’s rarely about the podium. They talk about connection.
Sport is about connection.
It is the connection between teammates working together to achieve a common goal, forged on the practice field, on the bus, at team meals, and even in the hotel pool.
It is the connection between athletes and their coaches who respect and encourage them, and coach the person, not the sport.
It is the connection between sports clubs, schools and parents, working together to ensure that sport is an extension of the things we value, not the antithesis.
And, most importantly, it is the connection between a dad and his son forged over 50 years of tossing a baseball.
It is the connection between a father and daughter, built night after night in a quiet driveway in upstate New York, playing HORSE until it is too dark to see.
It is the connection available to all of us, whether it be with our own kids or those we are entrusted to coach, if we just put aside our devices, our expectations, and our future hopes and dreams for those kids, and simply be present.
I know that I need to find more time to do this.
Welcome to the over 300 teams participating in the 2017 CMSA Fall Season
More information on the Fall Season and Fall Cup can be found HERE.
2017 CMSA Fall Season Schedules posted Friday August 25
The 2017 CMSA Fall Season is an extension to the outdoor program and provides teams who participated in the CMSA outdoor season the opportunity to play an additional 4-6 games throughout the month of September.
Fall Season commences Tuesday, September 5.
The CMSA Fall season, and outdoor soccer, will officially wrap up October 1 with the CMSA Fall Cup.
More information on the CMSA Fall Season and Fall Cup can be found HERE.