Oct 9, 2012, 10:06 AM EST
Late to practice? Go run a few laps … unless you’re in Iowa, then don’t worry about it. Here, please enjoy this “Better late than never” cookie.
The time-honored practice of coaches making players run as a disciplinary measure may be on its way out in at least one state. An investigative report by the Des Moines school district states that a coach who makes athletes run during practice may be guilty of inflicting corporal punishment, which is against district policy.
It all started when Des Moines Lincoln High School football coach Tom Mihalovich was suspended for, among other things, making a sophomore player run laps for making derogatory statements about the team.
“Good common sense would indicate we’re past using conditioning and running in a punitive manner,” said Mike Dick, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union executive director. To use conditioning as punishment is “almost vindictive in nature.”
Yes it is, and that’s the whole point. Your coach is supposed to be a vindictive task master. All the best coaches are.
Running as discipline is discouraged by National Association of Sport and Physical Education, a group that promotes professional standards for youth health and education. The Des Moines school investigation cited its 2009 report in determining whether the actions of Mihalovich and two assistant coaches went too far.
“While some people believe that physical activity used as punishment and/or a behavior management tool is effective, experts perceive this as a ‘quick fix’ that actually might discourage the behavior it is intended to elicit,” the group concluded. “Using negative consequences to alter behavior suppresses the undesirable behavior only while the threat of punishment is present; it doesn’t teach self-discipline or address the actual behavior problem.”
Oh no, we can’t use negative consequences to alter students’ behavior. That would be just like real life, and it would be irresponsible for coaches to prepare them for that.
And as for you, reader, you really took way too long to get to this final paragraph. Drop and give me twenty.
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