Everything may be going great during a season, the players get on with everyone and you get on with everyone, training is fun and match days are a good place to be around. However, at some point or another, with any age of player and at any level, its a good bet that at some point there will be a problem with a disruptive player, parent or someone else in your club.
Setting the tone in your first training session with a team can really help. Re-enforce your ideas about fun, encouragement and praise with everyone, rather than the negative ideas of criticism and harsh instruction. A positive and enjoyable atmosphere is less likely to lead to little arguments niggling demonstrations of lapse in discipline, if the players are happy and your always staying positive then there more likely to respond to that in a positive way.
Stay Away From Laps
It can be really easy when a player has just mouthed off at you to send them on their way for a lap or two around the pitch as a punishment. Keep in mind that conditioning drills (fitness training drills) should never be used as a form of punishment for players. Players who then associate conditioning (fitness training) with punishment are more likely to develop a negative attitude towards conditioning which then could be disruptive to their development.
Be True To Your Word
When you have outlined to a particular player the discipline that results if they don’t behave appropriately, you’ve got to follow through with the punishment. This will maintain your authority and respect with the team.
Apply Team Rules Evenly
One of the most disastrous moves you can make when it comes to disciplining players is to have favourites and allow some players to get away with the same behaviour as other players who you punish for. Dividing the team can cause resentment among the players which quickly break down the team ethos and chemistry between the players.
Make Sure That Punishments Are Fair
Don’t ever go overboard with punishments and enforcing team policy. If a player forgets a water bottle then in no way should the punishment be the same as if the player swears at a referee during a match. And also never hold a grudge for the incident that took place, once the punishment has been completed then put the incident behind you move on and forget about it. Punishing the player for the same incident over and over again is unfair and the player probably wouldn’t feel a valued member of the team again.