Teammates By: shea bessette

For any sports team, the locker room is full kids who have fun with each other and fool around before and after practice. Even teammates will gang up on a kid to have a little amusement, but everyone needs to know when to stop. At first, a kid on the team, named Jake, who was the goalie, was being made fun of by a kid, Brody, who was just joking around but Jake did not take it like that. I knew that Brody was joking, but what really matters is what the person being made fun of, in this case, Jake, thinks of the jokes.

Friends 'til the end

He didn’t particularly like it, but he did not speak up or let his teammates know about how he felt about the situation. The next practice, kids thought it would be funny to join up with Brody and even though they were just joking around with Jake, he really did not like that multiple kids were doing it. This really overwhelmed him and he felt as though no one on the team liked him or enjoyed him being there, which would become apparent in later events. After that practice we were informed that we are having a “team bonding” activity. Jake, at this time, was still shy when he was around the team because he was new and now that he thinks no one likes him. When the team went bowling, Jake sat there and did not let anyone know that he was there, and after awhile he got frustrated. I noticed and went over to talk to him, but by this time it was too late because he had no interest in talking about what he thought. I said, “Jake come over and bowl with us!” With a blank stare, Jake gave no response.“Come on dude it will be fun,” I said, “you will have a really good time with us!” No response.I realized that this conversation was going nowhere fast and went back and left him alone. So, while the team was having fun and bowling, Jake was sitting alone and had no intentions of getting up to talk to anyone on the team. After that night Jake was basically convinced that the team did not like him and these thoughts would add extra pressure on him as a goalie because he tries to impress.

The following practice the team was joking around with Jake, and it was clear to me that he did not like the jokes. I felt obligated to help and stick up for him and make his teammates realize that he does not appreciate the banter. Without making a big deal, I talked to Brody, who soon realized that even though he was joking it depends on the perspective of the person that the jokes are about. I also talked to Jake and let him know that they are just joking around and do not really mean anything they say. He understood that they were joking and he just needed someone to tell him that the kids on the team actually like him, they were attempting to lighten up the locker room. This totally changed the locker room because now Jake and everyone who said the jokes are friends, including Brody. People need to realize that what they say can be taken differently from what they originally intended.

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