Dear American Girl,

I made the school soccer team, but my best friend didn't. She worked really hard at the tryout, and she's sad and disappointed. I feel guilty about making the team, and I don't want to hurt her feelings whenever I mention soccer. What should I do?
-Team troubles

Here's your advice:

Ask your friend if there are any clubs or groups she wants to join. Whatever her interests are, you could help her find something to join so that she won't feel as left out or disappointed.
-Daisy, age 10, Massachusetts

Tell your friend that you're proud of her for trying her best. Then just let the subject drop. Your friend probably won't feel sad forever, and might even be able to feel happy for you that you made the team.
-Maria, age 13, Missouri

One thing you could say to your friend is, "I'm sorry you didn't make the team. But I really want to stay on the team and give this a shot. I hope you will understand, because I don't want this to hurt our friendship."
-Iman, age 11, Georgia

I made the dance team at my school, but my best friends didn't. After a while, they felt better about it. Now we can talk about the dance team, and it's no big deal. So give it time, and things should get better.
-An American Girl fan, age 9, California

Just because you aren't both on the team doesn't mean that you can't play soccer together. You can do it after school or during the weekend.
-Sabrina, age 10, Minnesota

Spend some one-on-one time with your friend. Maybe you could take a trip to the mall together or go to a movie you both want to see. Show her that you care.
-Mary-Kate, age 13, California

Tell your friend that she did a great job, because in a way, she's a winner for just trying!
-Elizabeth, age 10, Michigan

Enjoy your accomplishment. Don't put it down just because you made the team and your friend didn't. When you and your friend talk, however, cover topics besides soccer.
-Emma, age 12, Pennsylvania

Say that you're sorry that she didn't make the team, and simply ask her if she feels uncomfortable when you talk about the team. If she says yes, move on. There are lots of other things to talk about besides soccer.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Minnesota

One of the most important things to do is not rub it in. You don't want your friend to feel worse about not making the team.
-Faith, age 12, Wisconsin

Your friend might be worried that you'll make other friends on the team and you won't have time for her. Suggest that you join an activity together.
-Whitney, age 10, Oregon

My friend didn't make the school softball team, but I did. I encouraged her to try out for another activity, and she picked cheerleading. I helped her practice for the tryouts, and she made the squad! If there's another sport your friend wants to do, offer to help her practice.
-Cassie, age 12, Virginia

If your friend gets down on herself because she didn't make the team, be sure to bring up the other amazing qualities she has. Say, "But you are the best artist in school!" or, "Are you forgetting the time you won the geography bee?" Remind your friend that she's awesome in other ways.
-An American Girl fan, age 11, Massachusetts

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