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 Post subject: Player too aggressive?
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 13:00 
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My son just joined a table tennis league. He is new to the sport and is taking lessons. The league he joined is open for all and has a mix of levels. The club he is in also has more competitive leagues which my son is not in. A team member of his who has played for many years is very competitive. My son was in tears playing last time because this team member offered words of encouragement to all the other team members except him. He also was very critical of him and said some harsh words loudly, embarrassing my son. I know that my son can probably benefit from this team member as he is actually very good but I am concerned that he may be so discouraged that he would just not want to play any more. I feel this type of of behavior is overboard for a youngster just starting out and in an open league for that matter. My plan is to talk to his teammate and ask him to ease up on my son. Would appreciate some thoughts and opinions.


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 13:35 
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Is this teammate a kid?

TT is no different than any other sport. Manners are manners and I'd deal with it the same way I would if my kid was in Pee Wee Football. Personally, I wouldn't approach the kid myself because as a boy I wouldn't have wanted my dad to do that.

Instead, I have always taught my boys to stick up for themselves. I only ask that they do it as respectfully as possible, but at the same time in a way that they make sure the bully knows that they will not take any of their S**T. IMO it's always been best to let my sons handle it themselves first before I get involved.

If I must get involved, It would be better to speak to the coach first, to see if he can manage the situation. If the coach cannot, then I'd see about speaking to the parent. And if the parent cannot then I will make both he and his son eat their shoes :lol: (JK...Kind of).

My last resort would be to approach the kid.

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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 15:56 
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Its really hard to comment without knowing the people involved, what was said etc however its fair to say that if your son is in tears he wasn't made to feel great whether on purpose or not and is at risk of giving it away.

I'd be approaching the person involved to let them know how your son felt so they are aware, however not in a way to appoint blame. I think a very soft approach just to make them aware would be the go. You could also play dumb and just say that "some things were said by someone that made him upset, not sure who, but as a good player, if you could perhaps give him a bit of encouragement to make him feel good it would really help".

Dunno, just one approach.

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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 16:02 
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Not sure which country you come from Cheops, but I'm sure there will be cultural differences in what an appropriate response looks like depending on the country. Generally, I'd agree with Japsican's response if we are talking about the teammate being a kid of roughly same and size as yours. If the teammate is an older/larger kid (I assume they're not an adult behaving in this way) then I don't think you can let your kid fight their own battles. I would seek someone from the club (like the president or coach) and inform them of the situation and ask them to teach all the kids of the club about appropriate team behaviour and supporting and encouraging ALL teammates.

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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 18:01 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Not sure which country you come from Cheops, but I'm sure there will be cultural differences in what an appropriate response looks like depending on the country. Generally, I'd agree with Japsican's response if we are talking about the teammate being a kid of roughly same and size as yours. If the teammate is an older/larger kid (I assume they're not an adult behaving in this way) then I don't think you can let your kid fight their own battles. I would seek someone from the club (like the president or coach) and inform them of the situation and ask them to teach all the kids of the club about appropriate team behaviour and supporting and encouraging ALL teammates.

I'd agree with this, I guess i was thinking it was an adult as we don't have a junior competition. At our club everyone plays together, kids as young as 10 playing with adults, or oldest being 82.

Edit - If i were the parent or coach in charge, I'd want to know about this. The other person could be a repeat offender .

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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 19:55 
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For me, it doesn't matter if it's kid or adult.
Best way is use that incident as a lifetime inspiration for your kid so that he is always motivated to improve his skills.
The day your kid can win over a$$hole, consider mission Completed successfully.

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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 21:33 
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Cheops wrote:
My son just joined a table tennis league. He is new to the sport and is taking lessons. The league he joined is open for all and has a mix of levels. The club he is in also has more competitive leagues which my son is not in. A team member of his who has played for many years is very competitive. My son was in tears playing last time because this team member offered words of encouragement to all the other team members except him. He also was very critical of him and said some harsh words loudly, embarrassing my son. I know that my son can probably benefit from this team member as he is actually very good but I am concerned that he may be so discouraged that he would just not want to play any more. I feel this type of of behavior is overboard for a youngster just starting out and in an open league for that matter. My plan is to talk to his teammate and ask him to ease up on my son. Would appreciate some thoughts and opinions.


Unfortunately it's a fact of life that bullying comes in all forms - if this aggressive individual singled your kid out of the praise then it's a form of exclusion.
Does the club have a anti-bullying policy ?
Coach should definitely step in and highlight that there is an expectation that all members be encouraged and brought into the fold.
I would go along with Japiscan and not approach the kid directly since that would seriously be a last and risky option. But you could make your presence felt.
Give you kid the confidence to fight his own corner. Have 2 nephews - younger one is a toughie and takes no nonsense but the older needs protection and goes to public speaking so that he can speak out.
If the club do nothing about the behaviours then I would take your kid out of the club or at least temporarily.
Best of luck !


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2016, 22:13 
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This kind of thing can happen when the playing levels of the team members vary greatly. If none of the other suggestions work, maybe your son should consider joining a team where the other members play at a similar level.


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016, 03:28 
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Thanks to everyone for the sound suggestions. I inadvertantly left out a few important details:

The player I am referring to is an adult. He has been with the club for years and assumes the role of captain or leader for the team, which my son is on. My son is not yet a teenager. The club has competitive leagues (where you have to try out) and a more casual league which is open for all and is based in the USA. The league my son is in is the open league. The player I am referring to is in all of the leagues, both casual and competitive. The teams in the open league are a mix of adults and kids of all levels. Kids play both adults and people closer to their age. All of the highly rated players in the open league have a great attitude and are in the open league mostly to help develop newer players. This fellow however seems to value winning above development, encouragement, and motivation of newer players. He used public mockery to try to motivate my son and it obviously had the opposite effect. I plan on talking to this fellow next time I see him and letting him know the impact his approach has had on my son.


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016, 04:59 
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Wow...that changes everything! I would recommend that you don't do what I would do, which would be to give that donkey a "This is how it's going to be...or else" kind of talking to. You, of course, would be above that and engage him in a way to make him part of the solution.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016, 07:46 
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Wow - you have to jump on it quickly, this guy could make your son not play for life. A quiet word to explain how your son feels, and that you will not accept him being publicly humiliated- and if he doesn't agree, or continues with unacceptable behaviour, pull your kid out of the team immediately. Find some team/ club which will encourage your son.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016, 10:02 
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Cheops wrote:
Thanks to everyone for the sound suggestions. I inadvertantly left out a few important details:

The player I am referring to is an adult. He has been with the club for years and assumes the role of captain or leader for the team, which my son is on. My son is not yet a teenager. The club has competitive leagues (where you have to try out) and a more casual league which is open for all and is based in the USA. The league my son is in is the open league. The player I am referring to is in all of the leagues, both casual and competitive. The teams in the open league are a mix of adults and kids of all levels. Kids play both adults and people closer to their age. All of the highly rated players in the open league have a great attitude and are in the open league mostly to help develop newer players. This fellow however seems to value winning above development, encouragement, and motivation of newer players. He used public mockery to try to motivate my son and it obviously had the opposite effect. I plan on talking to this fellow next time I see him and letting him know the impact his approach has had on my son.


Since you're based in the U.S. came across this URL...
http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis/USATT/SafeSport

Is their a Safesport Officer for the Club that your son is in ?
If there isn't would you be interested in becoming one so that no other child is subjected to what you son experienced ?


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016, 13:51 
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Safesport sounds like a great initiative. I will check if my club has an officer and if not I would be more than happy to serve in that role.


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016, 16:48 
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I'd like to say I can't believe an adult can act in this way, but unfortunately I know they can. Our club president coaches kids in this way, belittling them to try to motivate them. I am disgusted every time I see it. Unfortunately, he has our club wrapped up in a neat and tidy little bundle that he controls with an iron fist by using kids who dare not talk back to him as the office bearers. Of course running a club this way is completely illegal, but given he works in the area that you would lodge a complaint to about this kind of behaviour, he closes the loop and gets away with it. Its a shame there are people like this in our world, and our sport.

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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2016, 13:12 
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Last Kid I played in a tourney was rated 175 points better than me, I encouraged him throughout the match with bicep kiss to my bicep cheering when he got in a smash vs me, etc... and I said nothing disparaging, yet the the kids was in tears after the loss of 0-3, most likely in fear of his Father admonishing him for losing to a typical 1700s rated (at the time) fat looking, slow moving looking overweight 50 yr old American.

I say we would have to be there to see the situation for ourselves.

I got a few questions.

Exactly what was said by who that was "Harsh" ? That would clear up some stuff for sure.

I don't wanna get into anything, but if the performance of my team mate was crappy, I would let my team mate know too. Generally, I cheer so loud for my team that the other team supporters give up trying.

I wasn't there, so I don't have enough to go on. I will respect your interpretation of the events 2nd hand if you were not there and believe your judgment.

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