Standing by and watching others being mistreated is wrong. Fear and mean-spirited behavior will impact performance.
One of the most vital aspects of any team, whether it is high school, club, summer or the NCAA, is creating a culture of kindness and caring – no matter what the sport. Swimming is no exception.
We like to think this culture is woven in every team, but the harsh reality is this is not true.
Bullying and hazing still happen in too many places. Coaches look the other way, are oblivious to it, or in the worst cases are participants. Many teams develop anti-bullying policies, but they are in name only.
And too many athletes suffer and experience depression, anxiety, and in some cases the worst happens. Some consider suicide and others take their own lives. Many famous swimmers have written about their depression and self doubt.