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Posted in: General

Poor discipline

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    What is the best way to deal with poor discipline?

    Coach an adult team with strong personalities but letting themselves down.

    Any thoughts or experiences will be happily received.

  • bobblington

    Hi Conor

    I don't know if this will help because I've not had cause to use it but I found the 15 ideas in the book 'Legacy' by James Kerr really interesting for the concept of taking responsibility and building meaning into all levels and aspects of being a team from training to playing and including cleaning up.  I love the concept of leaving the shirt in a better place than it was when a player got it.

    I've noticed some similar themes in Micky Hartes book 'Presence is the only thing' which also highlights making the players responsible for their own development and linking all aspects of the game from training through to playing as the responsibility of the player to grow and develop.


    Hi Lorna

    Thank you for your reply and yes it was helpful. I will check out the book asap.

    Many thanks 


  • NickRuddock

    Hi Conor, i'm in agreement with Lorna, Legacy is a great book that will certainly have some suggestions regarding this.

    The principle here is to create a culture where the athletes are willing to be disciplined. They will need to feel in control of that, so allowing them to devise their own code of conduct or team charter can really help the ownership and application of some key behaviours that will help drive performance. It will also help to filter out athletes that aren't willing to participate.

    'Will It Make The Boat Go Faster' is another great read that sheds light on team charters and behaviours that drive Olympic standard performance.

    It's very difficult to discipline adults, but you can connect the dots between behaviour and results for them and therefore inspire them to want to behave in a manner which will drive results. 

    Hope this helps ...


  • Nollzer

    Poor Discipline is the symptom of a team cultures in trouble. The easiest read on this is Successful Coaching by Rainer martens. He outlines the signs of a team culture in trouble and mechanisms for building a good team culture. 


    Thank you Nick will check out and hopefully post something positive in the near future

  • garylambert

    Am also a proponent of Legacy, and Will it make the boat go faster as an insight to culture formation and change.

    On a more "simplistic" level it is about getting to know and understand your players. What motivates them to turn up, train, play, perform. Its through that understanding you can figure how to help manage them to perform, to help work together to create that ethos of success.

    The level at which they are playing is really important. There are very different motivators between elite and sunday league athletes...there are also many forgotten similarities! What do they see as "success", it may be very different to your views

    It isnt easy and it can feel like a very lonely place for a coach to be...it is important to win people to your side, to have someone to provide a different view point to you and not just as a sounding board or mirror but someone you trust to be honest with you. Having the humility to accept that we as the coach have a role to play and must look to change how we approach things as well can be tough but rewarding. 

  • Nollzer

    Completely agree that the All Blacks dual management model is the way forward. 

    Coaches need to have a clearly defined concept of what a good team culture is, and the expected team norms, behaviours and attitudes.

    Obviousely a difference between coach expectations and team expectations results in team disciplinar issues.

    Therefore, the first step is ascertaining the team's expectations, past behaviours and attitudes and formulating an agreed team culture, norms and beliefs.

    My personal team culture is represented by


    b. Continuous improvement

    c. Pursuit of Excellence

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