SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches. This blog shares stories from coaches all over the country transforming lives. For more information contact Lou Judd -

Friday, August 6, 2010

Discipline as Skill Building

A wise man once taught me, Father Matthew, that discipline is not something negative. It is positive skill building. Giving the young person the skills necessary to perform a certain activity well. 

More and more parents and coaches are afraid to discipline under the misconception that it is too negative or mean. This is a mistake.

By Fritz Knapp

Discipline: “‘Why?’ I asked the Coach. ‘Because it’s good for you!’  he said. ”

The expression keeping your nose to the grindstone comes to mind when thinking about discipline, the sister virtue of persistence. Discipline requires a commitment to do whatever it takes to master the fundamentals of a sport. It also demands something that many of us find hard to do: listen. That is, we must listen to our coaches and follow their instruction wholeheartedly.

My high school basketball coach was one tough hombre, still is. You did things his way, or you weren’t on his team. He had a battery of drills that his teams did every practice, dribbling, passing, defense, etc. If you were late to practice, God forbid, you did a suicide-double for every minute you were late.

Of course, this discipline proved good for our record, which ended 19-3 and a spot in the County championship game. We remain friends to this day, probably because I got the message.

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