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K-3rd Coach

Need Help With A Bad Attitude!

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I'm needing serious advise for dealing with a 2nd grader who's constantly insulting players and coaches. Insults everything from appearance to practice drillss. I've been waiting for his dad to nip the problem and it's not happening. I'm not sure exactly how to handle a 2nd grader who is KILLING any kind of team unity. He's doing everything from calling coaches stupid, laughing at drills, and recently telling everyone pretty much how pitiful they are. I'm not around for most of these situations and hear from another parent or coach. I've preached my hatred for negative attitudes and asked for the negativity to stop. Is it out of line for me to make a player to run for being negative? Are these guys to young for that? How would you handle this?

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First of all, I believe this can be a severe moral problem for the team and thus needs correction. This is also a difficult area because we are the coaches, not the parents of every player. Avoid physical punishments; no hitting, etc., but do punish negative actions.

My first course of action would be to set up a dialog between you, the parents of the child with the child present, and any team officials (for instance, our team is part of a collection of teams with different age groups and thus we have a board with members).

My next course of action would be to have a team meeting with parents and players to inform them of your thoughts/rules for discipline and proper behavior. I would explain the consequences associated with bad behavior and the rewards associated with proper behavior.

After setting the expectations and consequences/rewards, it is vital that these be followed through with, justly. Do not single out just the problem player, but any player who is acting in a like manner. I think suitable disciplinary actions are runs (we call them "trips to the pole" because the player is running from one end of the field to the goal post at the other end), up-downs, leg-lifts, or the "dead cockroach" (player lays on back with legs and arms straight up in the air). The "dead cockroach" actually works pretty well because it is offers a fairly decent dose of humility.

Fortunately in our league, our by-laws address this issue very well. After the matter has been discussed with the board and parents, the player is probationary. If the matter persists, first, playing time penalties are assessed, but if the matter behavior will not improve, the player is disqualified from the team (this is never on a whim or a 2nd or 3rd offense, but rather in more extreme cases).

Hope this helps

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mlbryant gave you some great advice. Get with the child and parents together and let them know this behavour will not be tolerated.

Do you have a board and or rules or by-laws to backup your possibly removing this child from the team? If not there should be. We are all in this thing for the children so I would try to work it out it does however sound like you may have already. Do everything you can to give the kid a chance 1st offense punishment, 2nd offense punishment then 3rd strike your out. Could there be some ADHD going on here?

Sometimes we have to be a form of counseler so be careful when approaching the parents. Like I said and mlbryant said, they and the child should of course be talked to together and told that if the bahavour continues the child runs the risk of being removed from the team. Hey there only 2nd graders dont give up on him coach.

Syn

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mlbryant gave you some great advice. Get with the child and parents together and let them know this behavour will not be tolerated.

Do you have a board and or rules or by-laws to backup your possibly removing this child from the team? If not there should be. We are all in this thing for the children so I would try to work it out it does however sound like you may have already. Do everything you can to give the kid a chance 1st offense punishment, 2nd offense punishment then 3rd strike your out. Could there be some ADHD going on here?

Sometimes we have to be a form of counseler so be careful when approaching the parents. Like I said and mlbryant said, they and the child should of course be talked to together and told that if the bahavour continues the child runs the risk of being removed from the team. Hey there only 2nd graders dont give up on him coach.

Syn

The league doesn't hand anything out to parents and league meetings are very laid back. The important thing for me is handling quickly and on my own. I would be very disappointed if it goes far enough to require a meeting. I think everyone loses if the league gets involved. I want this kid to realize he's got a person/coach in his life who isn't goin anywhere or give up on him. I've been wondering if he's used to causing trouble and having people give up. Maybe this is another AWESOME character lesson that football tends to offer. If not, we have a meeting. I've got a feeling, conflict may be what he is after.

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mlbryant gave you some great advice. Get with the child and parents together and let them know this behavour will not be tolerated.

Do you have a board and or rules or by-laws to backup your possibly removing this child from the team? If not there should be. We are all in this thing for the children so I would try to work it out it does however sound like you may have already. Do everything you can to give the kid a chance 1st offense punishment, 2nd offense punishment then 3rd strike your out. Could there be some ADHD going on here?

Sometimes we have to be a form of counseler so be careful when approaching the parents. Like I said and mlbryant said, they and the child should of course be talked to together and told that if the bahavour continues the child runs the risk of being removed from the team. Hey there only 2nd graders dont give up on him coach.

Syn

The league doesn't hand anything out to parents and league meetings are very laid back. The important thing for me is handling quickly and on my own. I would be very disappointed if it goes far enough to require a meeting. I think everyone loses if the league gets involved. I want this kid to realize he's got a person/coach in his life who isn't goin anywhere or give up on him. I've been wondering if he's used to causing trouble and having people give up. Maybe this is another AWESOME character lesson that football tends to offer. If not, we have a meeting. I've got a feeling, conflict may be what he is after.

Coach then you have to do what Synwave proposed. You have to get the parents on board with you even if it is so that you can fix it while they sit on the bench and watch.... Do it away from the team at first and be positive but tough on him because he will only get worse if he is allowed to get away with that.

Jack

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For future occurences, hopefully you and other coaches will be fortunate not to have any, you may want to approach the board about its policies and procedures. They should probably have something in their by-laws regarding this topic. Ours covers the problem you are having but also fighting, game ejections, and spectator issues.

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Hey Coach. The kids on my team are a bit older than yours so you might want to take this with a "grain of salt". I have never coached that age group. I've had similar problems and the solutions are always specific to the given situation.

For example, my most recent case like this was solved by giving the kid a different set of responsibilties. He is one of our team's best players and had been a fantastic LB for a few years. After talking to his father many times, he would react well for 1 or 2 practices then back to the same negative behaviour. After a while he just started to mock the whole thing (father and coaches). I was at my wit's end. This kid was destroying every ounce of the D's unity. Negativity and lack of motivation are extremely contageous with the young ones. After a while, I simply wanted him off the defense (kids can't play both ways in our league). So I "dumped" him on the Offense. My bad? Maybe so, but ever since then he's back to that same great kid that we knew in previous years. Now he's playing slotback and having a ball. Simply put, the kid was bored and didn't know it.

One thing that we never do is administer "punishment". That's not to say that kids dont do laps/updowns/pushups, etc. when things get out of hand. We just don't consider it punishment. It's just what we do when behavour disrupts the team (action/reaction - B follows A - a fact of life).

Do you think his behavour is prtly because he thinks the other kids look up to him? Try this: The next time the kid (or any other kid) sours on you, send the whole team on a little marathon. When they get back, give the whole team the lecture you want to give to the kid. Don't single him out. Every individual IS the team. When he acts out, the TEAM acts out. When it happens again, repeat the process. The kid will no longer feel "cool" when he does it. He'll have to run along with his team mates. It's amazing what a little peer pressure can accomplish... alot more than a lecture from the coach in some cases.

Again, maybe a bit mature for 2nd graders. I don't know...

Cheers,

dbc

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Hey Coach. The kids on my team are a bit older than yours so you might want to take this with a "grain of salt". I have never coached that age group. I've had similar problems and the solutions are always specific to the given situation.

For example, my most recent case like this was solved by giving the kid a different set of responsibilties. He is one of our team's best players and had been a fantastic LB for a few years. After talking to his father many times, he would react well for 1 or 2 practices then back to the same negative behaviour. After a while he just started to mock the whole thing (father and coaches). I was at my wit's end. This kid was destroying every ounce of the D's unity. Negativity and lack of motivation are extremely contageous with the young ones. After a while, I simply wanted him off the defense (kids can't play both ways in our league). So I "dumped" him on the Offense. My bad? Maybe so, but ever since then he's back to that same great kid that we knew in previous years. Now he's playing slotback and having a ball. Simply put, the kid was bored and didn't know it.

One thing that we never do is administer "punishment". That's not to say that kids dont do laps/updowns/pushups, etc. when things get out of hand. We just don't consider it punishment. It's just what we do when behavour disrupts the team (action/reaction - B follows A - a fact of life).

Do you think his behavour is prtly because he thinks the other kids look up to him? Try this: The next time the kid (or any other kid) sours on you, send the whole team on a little marathon. When they get back, give the whole team the lecture you want to give to the kid. Don't single him out. Every individual IS the team. When he acts out, the TEAM acts out. When it happens again, repeat the process. The kid will no longer feel "cool" when he does it. He'll have to run along with his team mates. It's amazing what a little peer pressure can accomplish... alot more than a lecture from the coach in some cases.

Again, maybe a bit mature for 2nd graders. I don't know...

Cheers,

dbc

I like the logic as far as having the team run for individual mistakes/poor attitude. I don't mind using that method to see how it goes. I coach alot of O-Line blocking during our practices. I've found that other K-3 coaches neglect to teach ANY blocking assignments or schemes. My experienced players have always blocked pretty much in a wedge. I've got the respect of 99% of players/coaches. They are very eager to practice and learn something new. I will take alittle bit of what ALL of you have offered and report back after tonights practice.

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Be careful with the "team" type consequences. If the team runs a lap because of the problem child and the team is already in a moral low, you may find that the team will start to lash out against him causing even more problems. I use team consequences for ordinary penalties like a hold or an offsides, but not for a discipline or respect lapse; it may breed hostility.

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Update! I'm sure you guys are expecting the usual "I used the advise and a miracle has taken place!" Well, we had an absolutely horrid practice as a team. A constant joke session. I think I underestimated the father of Mr. Trouble, though. He actually came to me at the beginning of practice and asked how he could be more involved. It was easy from then on communicating frustrations about his child and others. Mr. Trouble was the least of my worries and it seems dad will keep him in check. I have two bigger boys who are 3rd graders, that I've awarded team Captains. I took their inmaturity (I know they're only 3rd graders) for granted and failed to explain what being a Capt. actually means. I got through practice and ended up adding a few new plays, then ran the team pretty good for awhile. It ended pretty good and I don't think my Captains will let this happen again. I'm not too concerned, I know this age group cannot be perfect. It's quite a challenge having Kind's in their learning with 3rd graders. Just another day in coaching paradise.

Update! I'm sure you guys are expecting the usual "I used the advise and a miracle has taken place!" Well, we had an absolutely horrid practice as a team. A constant joke session. I think I underestimated the father of Mr. Trouble, though. He actually came to me at the beginning of practice and asked how he could be more involved. It was easy from then on communicating frustrations about his child and others. Mr. Trouble was the least of my worries and it seems dad will keep him in check. I have two bigger boys who are 3rd graders, that I've awarded team Captains. I took their inmaturity (I know they're only 3rd graders) for granted and failed to explain what being a Capt. actually means. I got through practice and ended up adding a few new plays, then ran the team pretty good for awhile. It ended pretty good and I don't think my Captains will let this happen again. I'm not too concerned, I know this age group cannot be perfect. It's quite a challenge having Kind's in there learning with 3rd graders. Just another day in coaching paradise.

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I'm needing serious advise for dealing with a 2nd grader who's constantly insulting players and coaches. Insults everything from appearance to practice drillss. I've been waiting for his dad to nip the problem and it's not happening. I'm not sure exactly how to handle a 2nd grader who is KILLING any kind of team unity. He's doing everything from calling coaches stupid, laughing at drills, and recently telling everyone pretty much how pitiful they are. I'm not around for most of these situations and hear from another parent or coach. I've preached my hatred for negative attitudes and asked for the negativity to stop. Is it out of line for me to make a player to run for being negative? Are these guys to young for that? How would you handle this?

Cancer does one thing...it grows and spreads. you must "treat it" or cut it out completely.

treatment for cancer- lots of physical activity in the form of "bellies" and "up downs" bear crawls, sprints, loss of playing time. if signs of cancer do not disappear, intensify the treatment.

what you tolerate, you are encouraging.

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I agree with coach Calande you remove the problem. Since when do coaches not address bad behavior on the field. I agree with talking with the parent, my purpose would be to let the parent know what the bad behavior was and to let them know it would not be tolerated. From there out I would handle it. The kid would then spend his time running or sitting. Bad behavior has to have consequences for the individual. Punishing the team for individual mis-behavior may work at the high school level and up where other team members will bring pressure on the individual to comply with team rules. I don't think second graders have the maturity to use peer pressure affectivley. The don't address the kid directly mentality is what causes second graders to think they can disrespect coaches, parents and fellow players. Get a grip! Be the adult!

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