How to Deal With Team Drama

Focusing on The Controllables in Volleyball

Focus On Your Team Goal

How well are you able to deal with the drama on your team?

Let’s be honest, drama happens on sports teams. Sometimes, athletes clash with coaches, coaches get angry with athletes, or teammates argue amongst themselves.

You can probably recall times when conflict or drama affected your team in the past or even currently.

Some sources of conflict include:

  • Teammates blaming other team members for losses. 
  • Teammates yelling at others for lack of effort in practices. 
  • Coaches benching athletes for attitude issues. 
  • Coaches being angry over losses.
  • Athletes believing they are being unjustly punished. 

Whatever the reason, team drama can drive a wedge between teammates. With a lack of team cohesion, performance suffers.

One word can best describe team drama… DISTRACTION!

Anything that doesn’t bring a team together, push a team forward, or help a team succeed is a distraction. Distractions interfere with focus during competition and prevent players from pulling together and working towards a common goal.

Also, distractions can occur in the locker room or during practice and have the same negative effect on performance.

For example, if two basketball players are yelling at each other during a game. That drama affects team focus, communication, and decision-making. One player may choose not to pass the ball when the other player is open.

Instead, he might try to force the ball to another teammate and have the ball stolen. Just this one play can further the conflict on the court.

No matter the drama, if you treat it the same way as any other distraction and refocus on playing your game, you can minimize the impact of that conflict.

Late in the 2022 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown stormed off the field in dramatic fashion during the middle of a game.

Brown took off some of his equipment on the sidelines and threw some in the stands as he departed. The scene was a hot topic for talk radio but not for the Buccaneers.

In a post-game interview, Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski commented on how the team dealt with the drama on the field:

GRONKOWSKI: “A lot of professionals in the locker room just stayed focused on what [they had to do], and that’s basically what I did too. That outside noise, it can affect you if you let it get to you. But you just block it out. That’s one thing I learned in New England big time in the nine years I was there, block out the outside noise.”

Distractions (drama) are just noise. If you tune into the noise, it will take your focus away from competing. When you tune out the noise, you free up yourself to give 100 percent effort and focus on competing. Managing external distractions is the hallmark of championship teams.

Blocking out Team Drama

Remember, drama equals distraction, and distractions lead to poor performance. Remind yourself of what is important, the team’s success, then refocus on what matters.

Define what you must attend to during your performance. Commit to focusing on those cues only. When you’re distracted by outside noise, refocus on your task.

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The Focused Athlete

It’s probably no secret that you have many opportunities to become distracted in sports. Athletes are bombarded with both internal and external distractions everyday in practice and competition. Focused athletes are able to get the most from their skills because they are more efficient with practice and more concentrated in competition. Athletes who lack focus let distractions run wild through their mind and don’t know how to adjust or refocus.

The Focused Athlete was developed for any level coach, parent, or junior to professional athlete who wants to improve performance and gain a competitive edge. It does not matter if you are a fledgling junior athlete; or a seasoned professional, plagued with distractions; or you just wanting to learn how to improve concentration…

“The Focused Athlete” is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course in practice and games!

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