Do not Demotivate
Punishing or being harsh on players is not the best way to discipline them. Yes, we all know that some players don’t play up to their potential and mess things up for the team. As much as you think that the player deserves scolding, do not act harshly. This can cause the team’s focus to weaken and demotivate players during games. Some kids might even take the punishment to heart and quit the team.
Thus, coaches must act in such a manner that the players don’t feel demotivated. In fact, coaches should discipline their players with the sole intent to teach them. Constructively criticize players. Please don’t shout at them. Instead, say things like, “Is that all you got?” Or “You know you can do better!” By saying so, the players will actually try harder than usual and give all they have. These types of calls motivate the players more than just scolding. Simply by just acknowledging their potential and their presence, you will make them perform better. This will also make you look like a better coach in their eyes.
Creating a Disciplined Environment
One of the harder things to do as a coach is to actually keep the players’ attention and still make things fun for them. Most coaches find this very hard and struggle to do so. If you, too, as a coach, want your players to have fun while playing sports, then make sure to establish a disciplined environment among players. Many people may be surprised about this, but players actually have more fun if there is good discipline in the team. This way, they know what to do and what is expected of them. They like the structure since it makes them feel secure.
Some players might test your patience by not following the set of rules. However, don’t let anyone get away with breaking any discipline. If the punishment for chatting during a team meeting is ten push-ups, then that punishment must be given to everyone who breaks the rule. Do not let anyone get away with breaking the rule.
If you think setting up rules and working extra for discipline is useless, then you can’t be any more wrong. You can’t coach over 20 kids without setting up rules and ensuring everything stays disciplined. If anyone breaks those rules, you should punish them immediately. Punish players every single time they break the rules. Make no exception whatsoever. The rules must be the same for everyone for punishment. By doing so, you will be able to change your players’ behaviour.
Where most coaches mess up is that sometimes they let the kids off with a warning or just a small scolding. Their inconsistency in this can cause the discipline to break off. The behaviour of the players depends on your consistency with maintaining discipline. Just verbally threatening the players when they break the rules will not work forever. Soon the players would take advantage of your naive behaviour, and the discipline would be disrupted. If you want the players to always listen to you, make sure they are punished every time they break the rules.
Rules you can set up:
Here are some rules that you can set up to maintain discipline in training:
- No one is allowed to talk when the coach is speaking.
- Lying to the coach will have a severe punishment.
- Everyone must be punctual.
- If you can’t come to practice, make a call to the coach.
- Behave like a true athlete. Disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated.
These are just some basic rules you can set up. You can also create a whole structure by just making a written schedule and following it consistently. You may think that this is a bit too strict behaviour for kids, but they actually like playing in such an environment. This makes them feel like professionals working in a professional environment. In the end, keep everything fun but disciplined.