Solving Conflict Between Players

Disclaimer: “This article has been produced by an independent contributor and does not reflect the views and opinions of the SRCMS team or the brand as a whole.”

Conflict within a team is not inherently negative or destructive. This is especially true on a sporting environment, where there may be instances of high-energy conflicts on the field or during training.

However, it is the responsibility of a coach to ensure that these conflicts do not grow into large-scale disputes that cause serious problems to the success of your team. This is especially true on the professional sporting world (but can be just as relevant to recreational or high-school level teams).

In this article, we will look at several tools and methods to managing conflict properly within your team.


Respect The Fact That Conflict Is Not Always A Bad Thing

To start off, it’s important to reiterate that conflict is not always inherently bad.

Conflict is a core part of growth and helps to ensure that issues are properly addressed, and risks are taken when necessary. As such, it’s important that you encourage your team to voice any issues or concerns that they might have- to reduce the chances of festering resentment and explosive emotions.


Make Conflict Resolution A Clear Priority

Instead of only addressing conflict when it arises, make sure you communicate your stance on conflict resolution to your team early on. Even before any issues come up, your team needs to know that you are supportive about these discussions and resolving them in a mutually beneficial way for everyone. This builds long term trusts and boost performance within the team.


Set Expectations Early

When it comes to being put on the starting line-up, or following certain rules, it’s critical that you make these expectations clear sooner rather than later.

This prevents resentment from building up and can also work to prevent any misunderstanding or lack of clarity later in the year.


Be Vigilant About Conflict

Watch out for conflict within your team, before the issues become bigger, more challenging problems. If you see unfriendly body language, dismissive responses, or a lack of interest in practices, it’s important that you address this early on.

Instead of letting conflict build and create problems, use this opportunity to catch it early and resolve it in a positive and proactive manner.


Consider Mediation For Larger Conflicts

When conflicts escalate, or parties have trouble coming to an agreement, Mediation can be a great solution.

Mediation is a process that looks at the positions and interests of both parties and helps them come to a fair and equitable solution. The best part is that a mediator is non-biased and is not attached to the outcome in any way.

In this way, each team member will be able to properly express what they are feeling, their desired outcome, and what they are willing to compromise on in order to move forward. Mediation is the ideal way to get both sides talking and open the lines of communication rather than just putting a band-aid on the problem.


What Happens When You Start A Professional Mediation Process?

  • A professional mediation service will first take your details, as well as information about the dispute. All other relevant details, such as previous issues or organizational ties, are also recorded
  • In a professional mediation, the mediator will stay neutral and not take sides or play favourites at any time
  • You’ll also have an opportunity to learn more about the general mediation process and whether or not mediation is a good solution for your specific problem and conflict within your team

Interested in learning more about the sports mediation process?

The team of legal mediation experts at SRDMS are here to help guide you through the mediation process and reach the best possible outcome for all parties. You can do it 100% online or opt to use a managed service where the SRDMS personnel do everything for you, from start to finish.

Want to know more, or enquire about your sporting dispute? Simply fill out the form on the contact page and they’ll be in touch.