A. Session Objectives:

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1 Conflict Resolution 6 Personal Space Talk Ice Breaker (Organize yourselves alphabetically by last name without talking) 5-10 min (HEADS UP: Supervisor will probably cheat and I will likely react by getting into fight with him, this will be our introduction to conflict) Introduction: (5 minutes) Dillon intro/what just happened talk During sport sessions it is inevitable that some players will get into arguments or fights with their teammates, opponents, or coaches. There are many reasons for why this may occur. A player can be having a bad day because of something that happened to her at home or in school. Something that transpired during the activity can also be a stimulus leading to conflict. For example, not getting enough playing time or being assigned to a position that the individual dislikes can result in conflict between a player and a coach. As well, physical contact between players going for a ball or trash talking may lead to fighting. What would be some other circumstances that might cause players to behave poorly? Irrespective of the reasons for why a player engages in conflict there are certain principles and procedures to follow as a coach attempting to preempt or resolve it. A. Session Objectives: Objectives: 1. To learn about the causes of conflict in sport situations 2. To learn about how to preempt conflict 3. To learn how to resolve conflict B. Huddle: (10 minutes) In a circle, ask coaches to think about the concept of sportsmanship, to explain why we want to teach it to our players, and how it can be demonstrated. Some of the ideas that might be proposed would be: (a) to have a game you need to have two teams that agree to play by the rules or you can not really have a game, (b) two teams that play hard make the game more fun and force individuals to play better, (c) when we foul an opponent it is because of an error we made, and we do not want the individual who is fouled to get injured we may apologize or help them to get up if they fall, (d) shaking hands at the end of a game is more than a ritual, but a way to show your appreciation for an opponent s involvement in an enjoyable and hard fought competition, (e) it is natural to feel disappointed after losing, but that is not a reason to be angry at your opponent- focus on what you can do better the next time, and (f) learn to win humbly and lose graciously.

2 C. Activities: (30 minutes) All with small groups 1. Think about the last fight you witnessed involving kids your own age. What caused the fight? Discuss the causes and alternatives to conflict. 2. Transition: What are reasons for why kids fight in sports (Brainstorm in small groups using stickies) 1. Organize the stickies of all the groups into themes (for example i. overly aggressive play ii. one kid who is looking to fight because his team is losing iii. competition that extends from school day into sports iv. too much chaos and roughness in the games poor officiating 2. Once we have 4-5 legitimate issues breakup into small groups and have each group come up with a plan on how pre-empt the situation 3. Scenario: One player is shooting a foul shot, and another is trash talking. The trash talker gets the foul shooter really upset, and he throws the ball at the trash talker in anger and physically attacks him. Coaches use SCAP to resolve the conflict. D. Strategies for Preempting and Resolving Conflict: (20 minutes) Continue in Small groups with all staff Preempting Conflict: This means to develop coaching practices that sensitize players to situations that might occur that lead to conflict, and to provide alternatives to them. In actuality, inoculation training (Lesson 5) is a technique that could be useful in helping players to understand how they may find themselves in conflict with others, and the most productive ways to avoid it. For example, huddling with your team and discussing situations such as: going for a loose ball and colliding with an opposing player, who curses at you for banging into him, or being given a position to play by your coach that you do not wish to play, might be topics to discuss. Asking players to provide responses to how they might react in such situations, and choosing the best alternative would be ways to sensitize them to avoiding non-productive reactions. Another preemptive strategy would be to discuss the concept of sportsmanship during your pre-practice/game huddle. Here, you could ask players to talk about what they would do if they collided with an opponent and inadvertently knocked them down. Or another question might be why good sportspeople shake hands after competition 1? The idea of getting players to respond to such questions is to help them to view their opponents as players just like themselves, rather than as enemies with an evil intent. As a coach, you should also acknowledge good sportsmanship just as you might acknowledge a good play. A word used to describe the capacity to understand others thoughts, feelings and behaviors is empathy. Resolving Conflict: While we would hope that we can teach our players how to handle themselves using preemptive strategies, it is inevitable that situations will arise that

3 results in conflict between players. When this happens we recommend using a 4 step process exemplified by the acronym SCAP. 1. The first thing to do is to S eparate players that engage in conflict. You might be able to do this by verbally 2 directing players to go to different sides of the gym or playing field (accompanied by assistants), or you may need to physically separate them. If the conflict is verbal, use your coaching voice to order players to stop. If you need help, call a Red Shirt to assist you in getting control of the situation. Once players are separated and paired with a coach or Red-Shirt one coach will get the game started again, while coaches working to resolve the conflict move on to C. 2. C stands for calming down the players in the conflict. If you had taught them how to use deep breathing (Lesson 5) to refocus, this would be a good opportunity to have them take a few breaths. Counting to 10 is also a way to get players to get control of themselves. 3. A entails actively listening to what the player conveys about what happened. Getting them to do so with a calm voice is also a good strategy for letting them let off steam. It is important that you pay close attention to what they are saying, but do not take the player s side of the conflict since you will ultimately need to get both players back together again. But, let the player voice what he/she is feeling. You may need to help him/her by starting a discussion with: "You're obviously feeling upset, I sometimes feel like that when I play sports... I want to help solve the problem... tell me what happened and how you're feeling..." You might also ask them if they understand the other kid's feelings - ask them to paraphrase rather than just shaking their head. 4. P involves bringing the players back together again and having them problem solve in order to move forward. At this point, it is important to acknowledge that the goal here is not to determine which player is at fault, but to have both players understand that the conflict did not solve anything. However, it did disrupt the game, and got them removed from it. The goal here is to have the players suggest ways to move forward and get back into the game to help their teams. It is also worth asking them what they would do if a similar situation occurs in the future. Ask them to be specific in how they could prevent such conflicts in the future (e.g., If someone calls me a name, I will ignore it. ; If I trip over an opponent s leg, that doesn t mean that he tried to trip me., etc.). D. Evaluation/Summary: (15 minutes) Beth, Alex, Dillon (we ll just each take a question and help them draw out the answers) 1. Give 3 reasons for why kids may have conflict during sports sessions. 2. Describe 3 topics that you might discuss during the huddle that cant help prevent conflict between players. What does the word empathy mean? 3. Once a conflict occurs between players, what are the 4 things you should do in the order they should be done?

4 4. Give an example of a time when you had a conflict with another individual, and how you might have used preemption to avoid being involved in the situation.

5 Homework: 1. We all get into conflicts. Think about a time in your recent life when you were in a conflict. What did you do that contributed to the conflict? 2. What are 3 important ideas that you as a coach learned from our session on working with conflict? Be sure to include the I-statement idea from the article. For example: Conflicts happen when kids don t understand the instructions and they get frustrated 1. Idea 1: Why important? 2. Idea 2: Why important? 3. Idea 3: Why important? 3. You have a kid on your team that is really good basketball player and really competitive. He's always telling his teammates and opponents. "I'm the best." "You can't cover me." Why might you want to intervene in this situation and what might you do?

6 4. Two kids collided and immediately got up throwing punches. Describe what you would do as the coach. 5. Conflict resolution involves understanding how another person is feeling. We talked about this as empathy. Think about people in your life that you may sometimes have conflicts with (e.g., a sibling, parent, teacher, friend, etc.) and try and think about how they are feeling inside when they are in conflict with you. Does this help you adjust your own behavior? 1. Pick one person: 2. Describe the conflict: 3. Think about the conflict from their view (empathy). What do they think? How do they understand what the conflict is about? 4. Does such an awareness change the way you originally thought about the conflict (i.e., your view was the only way to understand the situation)?

7 1 An idea here might be that a worthy opponent is someone who plays hard, and by doing so, makes you work harder which lifts the level of play in a competition so that both benefit. Athletic history is filled with stories about rivals who became good friends because each understood that competing against each other lifted both performer s level of skill. 2 If English is a player s second language you may need to speak to him in Spanish or have another coach who is bi-lingual do so.

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