Your team is your second family. You do everything together, on and off the mat or sidelines, and you’re almost physically glued to your cheer bestie. But, spending so much of your time with the same people can lead to conflict now and then. And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be you who is causing the issue–team drama affects everyone! Cheerleaders are known for having strong personalities, and because of that, teammates can clash from time to time. The one thing that you have to remember when conflict arises is that you guys really do care about each other, no matter the problem at hand. Plus, there are several ways to resolve the issue to make your team even stronger! Instead of sweeping things under the proverbial rug when times get tough, try these conflict resolution tactics to squash the drama on your team once and for all.

Acknowledge the issue.
If you have an issue working with someone, be the bigger person and let that person (or people) know that you want to work it through together. Sometimes, just talking about the root of the problem or what might be bothering you–in a calm and collected manner–might do the trick. Perhaps a teammate is being passive-aggressive towards you because they don’t want to be the one initiating the conversation. Don’t be passive-aggressive to avoid confrontation; that only makes the situation all the more hostile in the end. Be open, be level-headed, and approach the issue head-on without letting your emotions rule you.

Mediate.
If you notice that two or more people on your team aren’t getting along, step up to help! You can’t get better without your whole team getting better, so don’t let quarreling teammates be an Achilles heel. Intervene as a third-party observer, and try to work out what’s causing the friction. Nine times out of ten, it’s something super minor that can be resolved without turning to your coach or team captain. And, if that doesn’t work…

Turn to team leaders.
Sometimes, the situation has already gotten too out of control and you need to rope in the team captain or coach. Despite what you may think, your coach and captain care deeply about the team, and aren’t just there to yell conditioning drills, organize events, and get the routine polished. Petty problems between teammates may dissipate if authority figures call them out on it. However, don’t be the teammate that ‘rats’ on your fellow cheerleaders–approach your coach with actual issues, not with the aim to get somebody in trouble. Nobody likes a tattletale. However, if something is bringing the team down, then the coach does need to know about it. Chances are, if a prolonged problem exists, the coach and captain are already aware of the situation anyway.

Fight Your Own Battles.
Sure, you tell your parents everything, and your love of cheer usually steers everyday conversations towards the subject of your team. Your cheer mom or dad probably also want to know what’s going on, too. However, spilling team drama to your parents without taking steps to solve it could lead to a confrontation between your parent and the parent of the teammate in question. Or, your parent could do what a parent does naturally (protect you!) by going to your coach before you have a chance to reach out about the issue. You want your coach to know that you are a leader, so fight your own battles, and loop your parents in once you have a plan, so that they can offer support. 

What other ways can cheerleaders work through team conflict? What tactics have worked for your team? Share your tips in the comments!