30 second time outs

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Player Profanity

I was asked recently how to deal with "Player Profanity". The first step, obviously, is everyone setting the proper example. It's tough to say "Do as I say not as I do".. and that includes the parents. A conversation with them is necessary to get them on your side and maybe they realize that they are contributing to the problem.

Explaining that we're here to learn and the field is our classroom, so let's behave like that. You certainly can't use that language in the classroom. Build good habits that allows you to speak in any setting. Use of foul language is simply a vocabulary issue. It sometimes reveals the lack of one, and the inability to express themselves in any other manner. Have the kids practice "alternate" phrases and maybe make a game out of it. Over the years I settled on "Doggone it" and Coach Wooden's "Goodness Gracious!". Some people use a lot of "frickety-fracks" and "flippity-flops".

Peer pressure is tremendous - in both directions. I've used team consequences/loss of rewards if someone swears. Eliminate a fun drill if someone swears or the whole team does 3 push-ups as a reminder. Then you have the players trying to police one another.

As symbolic rewards I've used a game-by-game "Sins&Saves" chart to keep track of execution, hustle plays and the like (positive charting) while things like language could be in the "Sins" column. Total points could earn individual/team rewards.

I'm not certain that I like it, but a trend out our way has parents passing a can around during the game after goals/runs/really big plays. Money put into the can goes towards defraying the cost of the end of the season party. Possibly remove a dollar from the can for every curse word. That should "hit 'em in the can!"

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