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Home - Basketball Tips: 3 Steps to Establishing Discipline




  Basketball Tips: 3 Steps to Establishing Discipline



It’s one of the paradoxes in life. True freedom comes through well established rules. In order for your entire team to have a great experience, you need to establish a sense of structure.

Follow these basketball tips to learn how.

1. Set Rules

To some degree your list of rules will develop over years of experience with coaching basketball to young players. However, there are some basic rules that are common sense rules.

Your players should be on time to practice and games. Play this one by ear. Kids don’t have control over whether their parents are prompt, but make sure they know you expect them to be on time. If they can’t make a practice, have them call you.

Never allow your players to talk when any coach is talking. If a coach is talking they are imparting some sort of direction and should have the team’s undivided attention.

Don’t tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior. Kids might as well learn as early as possible that the refs won’t always make the right call, the other team will get away with things sometimes, and their own teammates will let them down from time to time. Teach them early that they can’t let this affect how they react.

Above all, never tolerate lying. Administer very severe consequences for lying of any sort. Your players must understand that this cannot be tolerated.

2. Communicate Rules

Drawing up the rules is meaningless if you don’t communicate them to your players. The most important aspect of communicating your rules is clarity. Your rules should not only be communicated, they should be absolutely clear to both your team members and their parents.

You definitely want to communicate your rules to your players’ parents, but make is crystal clear to your team that they will be held accountable for their actions and not their parents.


Send a sheet home with your players making the rules clear. That way both the players and the parents have no excuse for the team not following your rules.

3. Follow Through with Your Rules

Follow-through is the most difficult part of establishing rules for your team. As a coach you set a firm but fair rule like being late for a game means you don’t play the first quarter. Then one day your star player comes to the game late. What do you do? Do you bench him or do you let him play?

The correct answer… you bench him.

Granted, you probably also make it clear to him how difficult it is to bench him. After all, he’s your star player, but you have to stick to your guns and follow through with the punishment.


The moment you let something slide, everything will start to slide. You’ll either find yourself in a position where everyone starts breaking your rules and expecting you to cut them some slack, or you get a disgruntled group that keeps following your rules but grumbles behind your back about how you don’t even stick to your own rules.

Either way, you’ve got a problem.

As coach, you have to establish and maintain discipline. If you do so right from the start, you’ll have fewer issues with your team and you’ll get better results from them as you teach them the game.




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