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Sticking to Your Discipline Strategy


Here is another great story that my friend Mike Rother shared.  I believe this is an example of what it means to set rules and stick to them, even if the entire school or team may be affected by your decision.

 “I think this was my second season in Omaha coaching a 14-16 year old kid’s soccer team.  We were at the start of the season and I was getting the kids into shape before we started working on some drills.  I remember one of the kids John B. as a good player but also a little outspoken, the one that was a little cocky and arrogant at times.  Anyway, after I had everyone running laps around the soccer field, this young man decided he did not have to wear his soccer shoes and was basically going to do a fast walk instead around the field in his bare feet. The rest of the kids followed his lead with a fast walk pace and sped around the track.  Seeing this, I immediately stopped the kids and had everyone take off their soccer shoes and socks and directed them to continue back running laps around the field, compliments of John B.  At first they all thought it was cool, but after several laps around the field you could hear his fellow teammates complaining to John for taking off his shoes. They complained that the bottoms of their feet were hurting and that they had to take on extra laps.  After poor John B. received enough slack, I stopped them and asked John if he wanted to put on his soccer shoes. He did so respectfully and gratefully, so did the others.  When they did, they thought I would start our soccer drills, but I had them line up again and continue to run laps.  No one said a word and they all continued running around the field as a team.  After a couple more laps, I stopped them and we started our normal practice and nothing more was said.  John B later became one of the best players I ever coached for ten more years. After I moved back to St. Louis, I would still get a Christmas card from John B.”

As you can see Mike, didn’t give in when he made the decision to have all the kids take off their shoes and socks and run the laps; even though they were all clearly upset with John B.

I have seen many parents, teachers and administrators give in when are crying or upset. When you stick to what you say and follow through, in the end they learn. As you can see from the outcome of John B. he likes and respects Mike as a mentor and a leader.

Copyright Richard Paul 2014

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