When Brandon Hale looks out at the practice mat at North Carolina-based Cheer Extreme Allstars, he wants to see athletes focused on tumbling, twisting and training—not distracted by drama. So when a trio of troublemakers threatened to take the focus away from what matters, Hale knew he couldn’t let it slide. “These girls just sat at the back of the mat, creating drama,” remembers Hale, who acts as head coach and head of choreography for the high-profile gym. One girl in particular “had a lot of insecurities and hung out with the wrong people on the team, who were more negative.”
Sound familiar? Whether it’s jealousy that erupts among team members, animosity causing a divide or lazy attitudes tainting the work ethic, bad attitudes can create a harmful ripple effect—and affect the team’s performance throughout the season. The good news is that it’s never too late to set the tone as a gym owner and/or coach and take action that will nip the negativity in the bud. Check out these strategies, which can turn such challenges into team-building opportunities.