While traditionally coaches of teams don’t have many issues with their opposing counterparts, or the players on the other team, issues can still occasionally occur that can lead to potentially negative situations. With that in mind it is important to remain respectful when dealing with coaches and members of another team. Sometimes you might not like the opposing coach or the other team, and whether or not you win or lose, you might want to just yell at them because it makes you feel better. Coaches are human being too, and as a coach you can sometimes get riled up by the opponents. However, remember that when you have a negative interaction with another coach or player on another team, you are essentially telling your players that it’s ok to act in this manner, and that these types of behaviors are normal and acceptable. Sometimes you need to be the bigger person, and to remember you’re the role model and often the face of your team. Team’s and players often take on the identify and values of their coach, and how you act on the field will often dictate how your players act on the field. If the coach or a player of an opposing team is crossing the line, use it as a learning experience for your players, and explain to them why those actions are not appropriate. Turn a negative into a positive by teaching your players how they should be acting.
Crossing the line as a player also deals with how you interact with your opponents and your teammates. We all know that everyone out on the field is competitive and wants to win. Sometimes this means that people just get a little too competitive. Sometimes other players provoke you (intentionally or not). When this happens, it is important to make sure that you don’t cross line. Rather than react to the opponent that is needling you, rise above it and be the bigger person. Getting mad and using slurs or bad language against your opponent isn’t going to help. In fact, it just tells them that they have succeeded in getting under your skin. You’re so focused on them that you have forgotten to focus on yourself and how you are playing. By reacting to your opponents and getting involved in verbal and/or physical confrontations with players on the other team you are essentially doing their job for them by throwing off your own game. Make sure that you don’t cross the line, instead ignore the things that are said to you. Be positive in your interactions with your opponents, and focus on helping your teammates out. If something happens that really offends or upsets you, tell your coach, or the referee and make sure that the person who crossed the line knows that what they did was wrong! Remember that the referee is there to help to police the game, they can be a great help when it comes to dealing with disrespectful opponents!