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Posted in: General

Punishing and disciplining children while coaching!?

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  • jturner83

    Hi everyone, 

    Just the other week, a high level coach asked me how i coped with kids messing about during my community based sport sessions. I replied that I don't discipline or exclude any child, I just adapt my session to engage them without spoiling it for everybody else. Am I being niave? Or am I the only coach that feels like I have failed if I have to sit a chid out of the activities? Do you ever punish or discipline a participant in your session? Tell us your experiences!

    James

  • pippaglen

    Hi James

    In the past i used to send children out of sessions.  However I started to look at the way I was coaching,  self reflection and found it wasn't the pupil's or athlete's it was how organized my sessions.   I found that by only concentrating on two or three learning objectives splitting children in to small groups, making sure all understood what the session is about and giving them small task's,  most importantly keeping them active and sessions fun.  

    I have seen coaches shout at player's/athlete's  and player's walk away with very unhappy and sad faces.  

    Teachers send children away from lesson and when asked why was they sent out the answer was I didn't understand what I needed to do,  or it was boring, or others were messing about too.  Many excuses when actually its  about self reflection and asking pupil's / athletes for feedback.  Good behaviour management.  

  • Deborah

    I find that it sometimes helps to separate from each other the ones who continually mess about, because there are some kids who, no matter how many times you ask them not to mess about take no notice.  This can be a particular problem if you have a large group. My particular favourite thing to do is to plan sessions that, if necessary, will allow me to ask the particular offenders  to be my assistants. They often like doing this and I find them asking to help the next time.

  • jturner83
    On 10/04/16 3:42 PM, Deborah Bray said:

    I find that it sometimes helps to separate from each other the ones who continually mess about, because there are some kids who, no matter how many times you ask them not to mess about take no notice.  This can be a particular problem if you have a large group. My particular favourite thing to do is to plan sessions that, if necessary, will allow me to ask the particular offenders  to be my assistants. They often like doing this and I find them asking to help the next time.

    Great ideas, this was is the type of creativity I think all coaches need, especially when dealing with kids that, like you mentioned, don't listen. I also think that if you're working on social intervention projects or with children that clearly have behaviour problems, it's nice to be one adult that they don't get a negative reaction from. I find being assertive, clear and concise and well-prepared (as best you can be) gives the coach a confidence that most kids will not mess with, but there is that one child that is fearless. I've seen coaches fail courses for sitting out session wreckers, but on the other hand, I've heard coaches coming up with all kinds of 'punishments' for their athletes. What does the UKCC say about it?

  • Maureen

    In my sport, it is vital that no messing about occurs. We start off by stressing the importance of safety and that this includes paying attention and never distracting others in action. I ask them how they feel about this, the group consensus is that they want to do the activity in safety. Our one rule is then set, "one strike and you are out!" In 20 years I have rarely ever had to implement it. They self correct within the group, as no one wants to miss out. My sport is Archery, hence the stress on Safety!

  • jturner83

    I always find it fascinating when a group 'self-correct.' I've seen groups turn on the person messing about and say basically 'Shut up, we want to do this.' The desire for attention from their peers quickly disperses. I've used that tactic a few times where I've said 'right we'll stop until everybody is safely behind this line' and suddenly you'll have a small group take charge of the rest because they want to get on with it. Or something like 'if we dont hurry up, we wont have time for a game at the end,' that causes problem for the one-two messing about.

  • jturner83
    On 12/04/16 10:52 AM, Olwyn Hatton said:

    In my sport, it is vital that no messing about occurs. We start off by stressing the importance of safety and that this includes paying attention and never distracting others in action. I ask them how they feel about this, the group consensus is that they want to do the activity in safety. Our one rule is then set, "one strike and you are out!" In 20 years I have rarely ever had to implement it. They self correct within the group, as no one wants to miss out. My sport is Archery, hence the stress on Safety!

    Interesting. So if you have a highly gifted participant and he/she mucks about just once, they are out for good? I always think about George best, and how I would handle him turning up to training half-cut or not at all. I remember how I felt when my school coach banned smoking and said if anybody is caught smoking then you are off the team. When several of the really good players were caught, he just let it slide. I left the team shortly after because I lost respect for the coach and didn't really want to be playing with people (who happened to be my friends) who weren't committed. Javelin at school springs to mind when you talk about archery. I remember that being almost like a military operation, one sign of messing about and the whole group was in early and you went to the headteacher. We knew not to mess around. I guess you don't have second chances if you run in front of a spear.

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