Bullying during sports

The main reason why I hated school was because of this one subjects: “Physical Education”.
For 3 hours in a week I got the chance to embarrass myself during basketball, high jumping or acrobatics.
I was not good at this, I had no intention to be  and didn’t understand how this was going to make me more intelligent.

The absolute worst thing, and in my eyes the cause of bullying, was when people got to pick their own team.
The “teacher”, who of course wanted to remain the good guy, always choose two kids from the popular range.
Those two always choose their equally popular friends, until it was down to the 4 loser kids of the class. I was included in that last pick.
People ended up  just “stuck with me” being on their “team”.

Although there have been signs me being sad, shy and ashamed of this, only once the “teacher” noticed me crying.
He listen to what I had to say and told me that next I could choose my team.
I was quite over the moon.
I had made a list at home and proudly presented the names during the next PE class.
You might have guessed, it were all the popular kids.

After that hour the teacher approached me.
“Have you learned nothing? You know how it is not being picked! Why didn’t choose those are always with you in the bottom 4?!”, he rambled.
I teared up.
For the next few weeks I felt horrible about myself.
So very hypocrite.

Today, after surviving many years of being bullied and left out, I thought about this occasion.
How easy and manipulative was it of the “TEACHER” to say this to a 12 year old?
He was the one who introduced us to the concept of choosing your own team.

He could have taught us about working together as a team.
He could have taught us  about each individual’s value.
He could have made us aware about bullying.
He could have blamed this on himself instead of a child.

In the rare months that I wasn’t bullied, others were.
I was never brave enough to step up, unfortunately.
I was just happy that for that moment nobody was paying attention to me.

That did change.
Not too long ago a female mentioned that someone was “super ugly” and had no sense of fashion.
This time I did step up.
“Unless you have studied the reflection in the mirror, you have no right of speech”.

Maybe this was too offensive, but some people have to learn the hard way.

She gave me the usual bullshit response of “This is a free country, I can say whatever I like”.

“Of course you can, but offending someone is showing weakness. And my recommendation is not to do that”.

Before she could say anything, I walked away.
But I did feel powerful.

 

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34 thoughts on “Bullying during sports

  1. I get it. Up until High School, I was always the very last one picked for teams. I was tall, skinny and uncoordinated. Girls got picked before me. I remember 4th grade through 6th the most. Sure it hurt and I still remember it from over 45 years ago, but it taught me to be a good loser which made me a better winner. It all worked out just fine…I’ve completed several marathons and my tennis partner and I were # 1 in mixed-doubles for the state of SC a few years back. It also gave me an example to teach the lesson to my daughters, a little more gently than your gym teacher did with you. You, however, did a good job teaching the “mirror lesson.”

  2. I am so happy to hear that!
    It usually dies work for people like us, but it surely not because of the school put any effort in raising awareness!
    Eventually we all learn from bad experiences and I am happy that you are teaching that to your kids! 🙂

  3. Maybe it’s PE teachers? Mine was a complete bully. I was good at sport but used to mess up all the time just to annoy him, but at least while he was venting at me he was leaving the overweight kid alone (his favourite victim) 10 out of 10 for walking away that probably really annoyed her 😀😀😀

  4. Horribly familiar story and hard for me to read over thirty years later🙁

    Sorry it happened to you too, I know how you feel.
    If it helps I have seen some of my school PE tormentors around in visits to my home town and I am now in better shape than any of them. It feels good 😀

  5. It was One of those that was hard to write. I havent fiund closure with thr past yet.
    But I am happy to read so comments of people who’ve been through and found justice or happiness anyhow 🙂
    Glad you have that too!

  6. My son’s PE coach is the same. He’s mean and only picks the popular kids.
    Thankfully I don’t remember much from school days. But I’m pretty sure it was the same. I’m glad you put that person in their place!

  7. This made me tear up… I wasn’t usually bullied during high school because I’m kinda one of the populars. I was an honor student, an officer in student council, and a journalist in our school paper. I was okay. But I wasn’t good in Physical Education., NOT A BIT. And so I had almost-failing grades in that particular subject and even failed once when I was in earlier year in high school. And in my Graduation day, I suffered a lot, and still haunts me even now. I graduated a Salutatorian and no one was happy for me. At least no one from school except my math teachers and my economics teachers and a couple of friends. I deserved the honor and award but they made me feel I didn’t just because of a single failing subject years before. I swear Im good at every other subject, even to the day of the graduation, theyw ere bullying me while I was having my speech. I looked into my parents that day, and almost cry because they had no idea what was happening. But Im a fighter and stronger than cry in front of hundreds, That day have always been a great lesson to me. 🙂 🙂

    I’m sorry very long comment but I feel like sharing and I don’t usually share this weak moment of my life. 🙂 Thanks for sharing yours, I got inspired. You did good by standing up to a bully. 🙂

  8. I was always in the same boat- super short and fat definitely didn’t get me picked and then in junior high we had to compete with the next person on the list for our grades- wouldn’t you know it- the next girl to me was a six foot tall football player:(. It wasn’t until I took up aerobics and running as an adult that I found my inner sporty person!

  9. Forced exercise is never good. That’s why I am against PE at school. Someone should be given the chance to the sports that fits to them.
    I am sorry to hear that you went through the same, but so so happy to hear that you found your passion! 🙂

  10. Why on earth do they even grade us for PE?! Isn’t that ridiculous!?
    And almost failing on a subject like that?
    I am so sorry to hear this! But I am very happy you did share your story 🙂 Many people have been through the same and it’s heartwarming to read that everyone ended up well 🙂

  11. UGH. Sorry to hear your son has the same A-hole of a “teacher”. I guess you just have survive those hours of torture. Eventually, these goes by as well!

  12. High school is probably worse.
    For me it was the most difficult time, including all the changes that come with puberty.
    My advice for him would to stick with one or two good friends and somehow survive it together.

  13. I like the idea of children getting physical activity and introduced to new activities so they can find what they like, but I don’t like how it was done in the past!!
    Yup running keeps me happy:)

  14. I faced the same issue. I sucked at sports and people used to make a lot of fun of me to the point where i used to get physically nauseous of having to endure even half an hour of PE…hope you are doing fine now.

  15. Ugh, so sorry to hear. Kids are bad, but teachers are the worst.
    I am ok now. It was only a matter of finding the sport that I like 🙂

  16. I relate to this so much, but I do happen to like sports so I’m never really picked last. But I have friends who are always the ‘last to be picked’ and the teacher never lets me be captain so I can’t pick them, and I never know how to comfort them when they get upset about being pushed around and chosen last. Its horrible in my school because if you want to be safe from bullying, you have to be good at a sport, everyone else is picked on. I hate it so much but I try not to get involved because all the people in my grade are such snitches. I still get bullied because I’m different 😦

  17. This hits so close to home. I hated P.E too for the exact same reason. I was always chosen last because I wasn’t popular or athletic. I think too much focus is put on athleticism. Yes, it’s good for your physical health to exercise, but putting kids in situations like this is bad for their mental health.

  18. I had a P.E teacher that would make us roll from one end of the gym to the other and then run back. We were all so dizzy and sick an bruised we would fall over and smack into walls, and he would laugh and laugh. We would all go to our next class with bits of gym floor muck in our hair. I heard him joke once to another teacher that he should have us jump in the shower first with our clothes on and it would give the floor a good mop. Cruel bastard

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