Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares the rod of discipline hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”
As strength coaches, we are leaders of the program not just from a bench, squat, sets and reps standpoint, but also from a culture developing standpoint. At the collegiate level, we coach athletes from all walks of life and most athletes we receive are exceptionally gifted. They have excelled at sports from the time they were first introduced to their craft. It is because of these genetic advantages, that they often have never been challenged or pushed to compete at levels greater than their opposition. And it is this systematic process that habitually sets many athletes up for failure at the next level!
Athletes today NEED TO BE DISCIPLINED AND CHALLENGED! The greatest responsibility strength coaches have been given today is the ability to lead a program! When you look at some of the most successful organizations and programs in the country there is one common denominator. DISCIPLINE. We live in a world that systematically sets young people up for failure. We tell them they are the best and typically do not coach them hard or challenge them. Your best players should be your hardest workers! We need more coaches to challenge their young athletes! As coaches, it is our responsibilities to get the most from least and the best from the best EVERYDAY! We need to stress them and give them micro doses of exposures to trauma!
In the book, “The Coddling of the American Mind” the author opens the novel by recalling a scenario in which no kid was allowed to have a nut related food in the classroom due to potential allergies. The school principal said “kids today are vulnerable and need to be protected”. Researchers from LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergies) conducted a study. They took 640 infants deemed “High-Risk” to peanut allergies. Half the group was told to “avoid all exposures to peanuts”. While the other half were given a small snack supply made from peanut butter and puffed corn 3x a week. From the protected group 17% developed a peanut allergy while in the exposed group only 3% developed a nut allergy! “By exposing kids to threats in small doses... they have the opportunity to learn how to fend off similar threats in the future”.
“Teaching kids that failures and painful experiences will do lasting damage is dangerous in and of itself. Human beings need physical and mental challenges and stressors or we deteriorate.” As leaders of the program, it is important we utilize this same model and thought process for developing mentally strong disciplined athletes. Athletes need to be exposed to situations they have never been in. Athletes need pushed and challenged beyond measures they never knew they could reach on their own. By exposing them to stressors we are teaching them how to cope and deal with failure which is something most kids have never been taught!
We have been become mentally weak as a society and nowadays it is unacceptable to push your athletes and challenge them. A lack of discipline, from a coaching standpoint, puts your love for your athletes in question and shows a lack of concern for their character development. Just as a loving parent disciplines his child, we too should do the same with our athletes! Without our correction athletes have no clear direction of right or wrong in terms of standards within the program!
“ As a leader, you are responsible for creating a winning culture that drives behavior and produces winning results. It’s not someone else’s job. It’s your job!” – Urban Meyer