Bad Mojo: When A Teammate Shuts Others Out


Over the course of a season, we have the opportunity to deal with lots of personnel issues.  Some of them are easy, some of them are quirky, and some of them are tough.  One of the tough ones, in my opinion, is when a player suddenly withdraws from the team.  I saw a great article called, Shutting Others Out, that talked about the reasons that this could happen.  Read on for three of the reasons that a player could isolate herself from you and her teammates.

3 reasons a player may isolate herself from her teammates

1.      They may want something. Some of our players will be passive aggressive by nature.  They’re afraid to come directly to us, so they stew.  In the personality assessment that I use, they’d be the S…resigned that no one wants to hear what they have to say anyway, so what’s the point?  Action item: Reach out to them.  They have things on their mind that are very important to them, but don’t know how to properly assert themselves.  And when you talk to them, reassure them that they don’t have to be nervous about talking to you about anything.

2.      They may have something to hide. If your players think they’ve let you or the team down, they may withdraw.  They’re probably embarrassed at doing whatever it is they did…and they’re surely afraid of the consequences that may follow.  This player is of the “why do today what I can put off until tomorrow” mindset.  They know they’ve screwed up, they know they’re going to get in trouble for it…so they’re going to let you find out any kind of way except from them!  Action item: Get behind the scenes.  Someone on your team knows what’s going on.  So talk to your captains or talk to her bestie on the team to find out what’s happening in her life.  That way you can approach her and come up with a plan of action so that she can be herself again.

3.      They may be hurting. Something happened to them.  Whether it’s a bad grade, a fight with a good friend, or a sick relative…they’re sad, but they really don’t want to talk about it.  These are your independent players who are used to doing everything themselves…and usually they do it pretty well.  They have a tough time admitting that they’re having a problem that they can’t solve…this player will say they’re “alright” if you ask them how they are doing.  Action item: Ask once and then step back.  Alert your captains, have them keep an eye on her and chat with her.  You’ll check in with your captains about how this player is doing, because they’ll just get annoyed if you keep asking them what’s wrong.

We’ve got to keep our eyes peeled for these things…and also know our players personality type so that we can correctly address the situation.