How to Resolve a Conflict With a Teammate

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Teammates Fighting

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." — Eleanor Roosevelt

Conflicts with a teammate are tough on both you and your team. Most conflicts occur because of poor communication or when someone doesn't get what he or she wants. Unfortunately, conflicts can involve several players, groups of players and even parents. Here are simple, but not easy, steps to help resolve difficulties with a teammate.

Write It Out

On a piece of paper, write out everything that happened between you and your teammate(s). Be specific about what took place—leave nothing out. Write what your teammate said about you, how he or she embarrassed you or if a group ganged up on you.

Recognize Your Emotions

Next to each occurrence, write out how it made you feel (e.g., hurt, angry, small, stupid, isolated, resentful, jealous or lonely). Acknowledge these feelings. Recognize the different emotions you felt and are feeling.

Own It

We cannot become victims. Even if a situation was out of your control or someone actually wronged you, you played a role in the conflict, no matter how small. It's important to take ownership of your own behavior and write out what you did in each situation.

These three steps may be enough to at least get your thoughts out on paper, so you can see them, acknowledge them and move on. However, it may not take the hurt or the pain away completely, so consider taking the next step.

Buy a "Thank You" Card

Take the time and a few dollars to buy a card. It means you're committed to correcting the process. Write on the card what you value in your relationship with your teammate, your common goals and what you want to see happen. This process is intended to bring out what is really important in moving forward and resolving the issue.

If you do not want to mail the card, at least use it as a way to express how your teammate will make you a better player, or how his or her actions have motivated you. Again, conflicts with a teammate are tough, but these steps will help.

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