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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

THOUGHTS ON PLAYER DISCIPLINE

We often post about things that are important to our programs...things like fundamentals, leadership, team building, practice foundation, strategies of offense and defense.  But do you have a set philosophy on discipline? 

The best coaches I have worked with have had a set philosophy when it comes to holding student-athletes accountable for behavior and discipline.  But they were also flexible in working towards getting the best results.  There was no cookie-cutter you did this so we will do this for a penalty.  But your team needs to know that you stand for something and that  consequences will come about for those who fail to meet those standards.

I also believe it is important that the team understands that the discipline involved is for the team.  You are trying to help a student-athlete adjust or change their behavior.  When one player is disciplined, hopefully it sends a message to the team that will effect all of them in their ability to make good decisions.

The following is an excerpt from Al.com written by Michael Casagrande who did an article on Nick Saban and his thoughts on discipline:

There were players on the Alabama football team who weren't getting the message. By Monday, Saban said things were improving on that front.

"I think there was a lot of distractions early on with guys that haven't played that much that did not sorta do things the way we expected them to be done or those older players on the team expected them to be done," Saban said before speaking to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham. "I think that's gradually changed for the better."

He also touched on the media coverage of disciplinary actions within the program.

"But suspensions are something that are no different than being a parent," Saban said. "I don't like to suspend anybody and I'm sure nobody out there likes to punish their children when they don't do the right things."

And he knows what will get their attention the most.

"But the one thing that we can do is if we are going to punish someone, it has to be something that's going to change their behavior and most of the guys want to play," Saban said. "So when they don't do the right things and they don't play, it seems to change their behavior for the best. 

"I think we should be focusing more on that then the numbers like there's some big issue because there's really not an issue. The issue is trying to get the players to be all they can be and make good choices and decisions so they can do that."

There have been six public suspensions since August.