Many coaches ask me how to keep players from going wrong during practice sessions. Here are some ideas that I use myself that are successful.
First of all, after the team has been trained for the practice sessions, I have a sheet of paper with the rules of the coaches for the players. I read this to the players and get them to sign. It’s good to start like this and let players know about the rules and what you will and what you will not accept.
Some rules might include:
– To attend all training sessions
– Inform the coach if you cannot attend a training session or game.
– Show up for training sessions and games on time
– To do their best in workouts and games
– No conversation when the coach speaks
– No blunder during training sessions
Second, it is wise for the coach not to give players time to binge. They should always be busy. Do drills where all players are involved, and try not to do too many line drills where players stand for long periods of time.
If there are a few players going wrong, you should discipline the whole team. Here, peer pressure will kick in and the players themselves will tell the few who goof up not to do it.
If there are continuing instances of the same player blundering, a private word with the player may be a good idea. In this conversation, be open and honest. Tell them this is a problem and ask them to stop this behavior. This one-on-one private conversation usually works. If that doesn’t work I would suggest having a word with the parent. This should really put an end to the problem.
If all of the above does not work, there is obviously a problem with the player. The next step should be a formal written warning letter to parents. This should indicate the sequence of events you have already taken to stop the goof and, a warning that a repeat of this behavior will result in a suspension of a few games and then dismissal of the team.