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Sports Bullying is Everywhere – Even in the Pro Arena

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The recent announcement that 22-year-old tennis pro Rebecca Marino quit tennis due to bullying should be yet another warning to sports parents that bullying should be taken seriously in youth sports.

Marino who had a 150-107 WTA record said that she struggled with being berated by fans and others in social media. She was dealing with depression, and the negative comments drove her deeper into depression.

The WTA tennis pro had received a number of tweets telling her to “go die” and “go burn in hell.”

Sadly, cyber-bullying and other types of bullying are rampant in youth sports. It’s partially due to the competitive nature of sports. Kids use the Internet to try to psych out their competition.

What’s more, girls often use social media to practice relational aggression. That’s when they try to hurt others using words or other non-physical means.

The top players aren’t the only targets of bullies. Sometimes the weaker or smaller players are targeted, as well. Kids make fun of them or complain that they’re bringing down the rest of the team.

As parents, there’s lots you can do to fight bullying in youth sports. First of all, you should monitor your kids’ social media use. Talk to them about what’s happening on facebook, instagram and twitter.

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