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Filling in the Blanks: Negotiating the Grey Areas | Welcome and General | ConnectedCoaches

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Home » Groups » Welcome and General » blogs » Matt Thompson » Filling in the Blanks: Negotiating the Grey Areas
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Rob Maaye and Anita North like this.

Comments (1)


You took a strong position to emphasise your high standards and expectations with this Player in particular and the Team overall - your support staff also would have noted your position in this trying situation. I applaud you wholeheartedly.

Sadly I have had to confront the outrageous and disrespectful behaviour of a player on the very first occasion I met him, which was also at the first match I attended for the Team I had just become Coach to. No Coach should ever be verbally abused by a player. His rant was witnessed by the whole Squad and the Opposition Coach and Bench players. Having said his piece he stormed off with the stated intention of not participating in any further matches for me.

At the next practice session I had arranged for the Chairman of the Club to attend, as I intended to address the incident and restate my standards so that both the Players and Club Committee were fully aware of what I deemed acceptable/unacceptable behaviour. The Chairman had offered to address the offending player but I preferred to handle the ill-discipline myself with him there to support my standards. Having laid out my expectations, standards, and the consequences for any repeat incident, I asked the offending player to apologise to the Team for his very public outburst; he declined to do this for quite a while, but I did not relent and only because his Team mates pressed him did he eventually make a half-hearted mumbling apology. At no point did I ask him to apologise for the personal attack on me though. I discovered months later that not everyone was happy that I handled this player in the manner I did

Of course the lack of control was not new to this player, nor to others in the squad, so my early months were dominated by efforts to eliminate the lack of discipline during matches - not an easy nor pleasant task tbh. Sadly, over the following months I did not receive the needed strong support from Senior Players and Club Management to stamp out the discipline issues in the Team, because this Player was perceived to be a key element in the Team's success, even when his lack of control on pitch contributed to lost matches.

It is my belief that in Team Sports, no individual player is more important than the Team, but this is not a universally held view, especially in amateur sport.

I have moved on and am now gratefully involved in a Team who believe in what I am doing for them.

 · Rob Maaye likes this.
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