I recently witnessed a coach who didn’t DIDN’T discipline his players. It was chaos! Certain players came close to fighting. Arguments occurred so regularly that I was dumfounded as to why the coach did not intervene. Respect for the coach had diminished and it was clear to see he had no control.

What could he have done? What do I mean by disciplining your players? I want to know, what methods do you use for players to follow the rules of your training session? What punishments do you use to correct these misbehaviours?

My personal experience is varied in terms of my approach. Maybe it needs to become more consistent but the key point of my article is that you have to judge every situation and every group differently. I coach 9/10 year olds on Wednesday and Friday at separate schools. The difference in the behaviour and discipline of the children at the two schools is significant. At one school, I HAVE to implement disciplinary procedures as I coach 16 kids by myself and the behaviour of the students is poor compared to other schools I have entered. At first I used very strict measures, sending the kids inside after 3 strikes. Had to send one kid inside after 15 minutes! So I had a talk with the kids at the next session and told them I had to enforce certain disciplinary procedures as I didn’t have the time to concentrate my effort on one kid misbehaving when I had 15 other kids to manage. They understood. I changed the punishment from sending them inside to sitting them on the side and letting them come back in later on in the session after I had talked to them. Sessions are running smoothly and they know what is expected of them.

With the other school, I coach a similar amount of kids and the difference in behaviour is staggering. Most of the time I’m with another coach, however there have been numerous times I’ve been by myself. I’ve only had to tell them one rule, which is don’t speak whilst the coach is speaking. And I haven’t had to repeat myself once. In reference to behaviour and respect, I’ve never coached a better group of kids. And I’m going to commend them on this in my next session.

In my experience, the amount of discipline you implement depends on the behaviour of the kids and the situations you face. Usually, your first couple of sessions with a new group are where you encounter very little problems as they are not used to you as a coach. Implement any rules you have as soon as possible so your kids know from the start what you expect of them. Keep the rules short and simple and don’t burden the kids with too many rules. Be consistent and fair and don’t treat the “star player” differently from the supposed weaker player.

So share in the comments section your experiences. How do you handle ill-discipline?

Image from: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1071867-40-bold-predictions-for-this-summers-euro-2012-tournament/page/32 


2 thoughts on “Discipline…

  1. A very good blog this. I coach in schools and the key for me is to set simple rules and make sure you stick to them. Long term the kids will get them and work with you.

    After all it is football and most kids no matter their ability will enjoy it.

    Good blog this, I’ve read some that are quite poor IMO. Keep up the good work

    • Thanks Lee.

      It’s very important to set standards for yourself as a coach. They’ll be reflected in the kids you’re coaching.

      Check out my new blog posts and let me know what you think.

      How’s the coaching going?


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