Few things are more important than the discipline established on the team by the coach. Coaches will have both written and unwritten rules all of which collectively make up their philosophy. When those and other rules are broken, the disciplining of the player is critical. ABW offers the final five set of principles to use as the foundation for rules and discipline.
6. Don't make the problem smaller than its is.
There is a temptation for some coaches who are eager to create a positive environment to want to overlook a minor incident, especially if it is something that happens early in the season. Failure to act, however, will send the wrong message, and will probably result in other attempts to stretch the rules.
7. Don't make the problem bigger than it is.
One of the risks in disciplining a player is that the punishment will create its own problem. When coaches allow their emotions to control their reaction mistakes can be made. Or, when a player is suspended, that punishes not just the individual bu the whole team, which could be very upsetting to the team, thereby, creating a different problem.
While there is a value in understanding the responsibilities of being on a team, and at times of suspending or removing a player from the team, it may be that there is another more appropriate punishment.
8. Look at the total picture.
A discipline problem is often symptomatic of a larger problem: a divorce, the death of a pet, or perhaps discouragement at not having much playing time. Good coaches will have the wisdom to perceive this and meet privately with the player and/or the parents or other teachers to try to work through these issues.
9. Treat each person the same and be consistent.
One of the quickest way to lose the respect of the team and to disrupt the spirit of the team is to be inconsistent in discipline or to show partiality toward one or more athletes. Rules should be relevant, fair, consistently applied and quickly enforced. Once an athlete has been punished, move on, forgive and forget.
10. Remember the Code.
The Code for Living provides the foundation for any coach's philosophy. To it can be added the coach's rules and expectations as well as the ways in which coaches will handle problmes. Referring to it regularly and using postive reinforcements for the correct behavior will help build and reinforce a postive team experience and lead to fewer problem situations.
NEWSLETTER OF ATHLETES FOR A BETTER WORLD
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