Unhealthy anger is…

                                                                                An overreaction to a justified wrong


In the athletic world, it is sometimes more acceptable to express anger and not other emotions. Therefore, many people will act angry when they are really feeling something else that they are uncomfortable expressing.


Stress ♦ Disappointment ♦ Frustration ♦ Fear ♦ Annoyance ♦ Hurt 

Resentment ♦ Shame ♦ Embrassment 


 Anger is a Normal Emotion that Becomes a Problem when It

Is too intense 

Lasts too long

Occurs too frequently


Overreacting to a justified wrong

Carries over on field/off field (environment/situations)

Focuses and blames only “others” – world, situation, anything except self

Is harmful to self or others

Leads to aggression or violence

Destroys personal relationships


Some common causes of anger are:

  • Being too ego-driven or invested — Taking it TOO personally

  • Getting sucked in — No longer looking for ways out (exits) or solutions

People who fight often:

  • Misinterpret the intent or motives of others

  • Are unable to see alternative rationales

  • Are openly and frequently defiant of requests

  • Vocalize anger: furious temper, uncontrollable fits of rage

  • Demean or swear directly to parent or others in authority positions

  • Make threats; are aggressive

  • Seem to have “emotional diarrhea,” and “lets it all out, all the time”

  • Have difficulty accepting “No” for an answer

  • Do not follow rules; often feels rules are “stupid,” or don’t apply

  • Destroy property

  • Are physically cruel to animals

  • Are physically cruel to people

  • Initiate fights with others

  • Seriously violate rules (at home, in school, or society in general)

Action Steps

  1. Create plans together to avoid high-risk situations and consequences

  2. Be aware of triggers

  3. Be aware of defined danger:

    • mad dogging

    • dirty looks

    • Is another individual looking for a fight?

  4. Do not try to detain angry individuals — even if they run away

  5. Interrupt the situation/Distract the people involved

  6. Beware of increasing aggressive behavior and try to diffuse the situation

What bystanders should remind the individuals involved:

  • STOP AND THINK – Is it worth it in the long run?



  • Avoid Retaliation/Escalation

  • Agree with rationale but challenge the action

  • Focus on solving the problem NOT winning the “fight”

  • Don’t get caught up in the moment and don’t let others bring them down. Think of the big picture

  • Try to see it from a different point of view – feeling anger and empathy at the same time are incompatible responses

What bystanders should do for themselves:

  • WALK AWAY if the situation is unsafe.

  • Stay calm, cool and collected.

  • Contact 9-1-1 if necessary