But, before you use these books, you need to know
the definition of bullying, which consists of these three parts
behavior is intended to harm or disturb, or the individual
targets feels harmed, disturbed or embarrassed.
behavior occurs repeatedly and over time. (It canít just happen
is an imbalance of power (power based on size, age, social
status, wealth, intelligence, appearance, wardrobe, just to name
The old stereotypical bullying event usually
contained a big kid standing over a little kid saying during
batting practice, ďMove, it's my turn to bat now!" If we look at
the above definition, it is easy to see that the behavior is
intended to cause harm, the little kid would not get his turn to
bat and possibly be humiliated in front of his teammates. That
alone would not make it bullying, but it usually happens several
times a week, and the imbalance of power seen in the size
difference between a big kid and a small kid is obvious.
Name-calling, the most common form of bullying in children and
adults, can be heard on school playgrounds or in middle school
and high school hallways or in the workplace. The words hurt and
are heard often, and are usually delivered by a person with
power over the target. Most kids who are called names donít
tell their coaches because they are embarrassed.
If two athletes who are teammates have an argument that ends up
in name-callingóthat probably will not be bullying. They will
resolve the conflict and continue their friendship. The
ill-spoken words may have been intended to harm, but the event
happened in one setting and between two equals.
Some coaches still believe the many myths about bullying.
bully usually has a poor self-conceptóMYTH. The Elitist
Bully or Social Climber Bully spends so much time thinking about
him/herself, there isnít any time left to think about others.
will make the targeted kid strongeróMYTH. Bullying can
destroy lives. The word bullycide (also bullicide), being
bullied to the point where killing oneself is the only perceived
escape, has been added to our language.
New research on bullying tells us that this
problem is not going away. Those of us who work with young
athletes need to educate ourselves. For far too
long school coaching staffs have been correctly accused of doing
nothing. THAT IS NO LONGER AN OPTION. Start by reading a bully
book with your teammates so that you can encourage a discussion
before a discipline problem occurs. Keep a list of bully
books available so when you hear a kid is having a problem you
can share that book. Literature has always been a bridge, and
bully books can help targeted students, confused bystanders and
even active bullies cross to a healthier place.