Some people don`t know what it is like to be a coach, and assume that it is nothing but sitting behind a desk a lot of the time, and then enjoying courtside seats to a game. What they don`t understand is that coaches are under a constant stream of pressure that won`t just disappear. If there are problems on that team, the coach has to deal with them, but that can occasionally become hard because coaches forge relationships with their players, and have a hard time punishing them for behaviour that deserves a penalty.

Discipline is a very key tool that is at the coach’s disposal to assist in player development. Discipline ranges in severity and is at the coach’s discretion as to how to issue it. Different situations warrant different responses, and in the end it depends on how the actions of that one person affected the team as a whole. Once that is decided then the coach can sit down with the player and discuss things. Occasionally a private talk can help out with fixing the issues, and can get both the player and coach back on the same page without any further incident.

Off court antics are hard to discipline as players have the right to a private life. It depends on the level of the league, and the rules that the league, or the team have in place to govern these potential situations. Leagues will often issue very minor guidelines, and teams will issue their own guidelines, if a player violates any of these, punishments can range from verbal warnings, to being sat for a portion or entire game, to lengthy suspensions. It depends on the severity or the offense, along with how many times it has happened. Someone who has messed up only one or two times, isn`t going to be hit with as hard of a punishment as someone who frequently causes issues team wide. Some player`s occasionally forget that their actions reflect on their team, and that their actions will come with consequences.

While sitting a player for a game or warning them are common tools, sometimes smaller steps like additional drills or clean up will help to deter future bad behaviour. Players usually know they have done something wrong on their own, and the ones that already know they messed up are the ones that will step forward, admit they did wrong, and take their punishment as is.

When you get the occasional troublemaker on a team that likes to party hard, likes to just be himself without regard for the team, the coach will occasionally take drastic steps if the player’s actions are detrimental to the team and fine or bench the player for prolonged amounts of time. If a coach finds a certain player is always in the public eye for all the wrong reasons, they may end up cutting that player and only allowing them back if they get their issues worked out. While some people may think that is being a bit harsh, a coach has a team to run, and if someone isn`t willing to fit into that structure, the distraction needs to be removed.

Picture credit: inboundpassCreative Commons Attribution

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