Every program should have an overall team philosophy followed by offensive, defensive, and special teams philosophies as well as the expectations of each player. A philosophy is set as an expectation for each game which, in turn, creates an expected result for the season as a whole. Great coaches will always create a philosophy for their team to live up to in addition to what he expects out of each player as an individual.
I have always told my players that there are only two things that I will never tolerate from them as individuals and those are:
By doing this I have set an expectation. If a player does not live up to those expectations then I have justification for disciplining him appropriately. I do not believe in discipline by way of conditioning because it teaches a player to dislike conditioning. In my opinion, the best way to discipline a player is by taking away repetitions or playing time. Since playing the game is what a player enjoys the most, taking that away from him is the best form of discipline. A coach should NEVER discipline a player physically by striking the player, grabbing a face mask, or laying a hand on that player in any way, shape, or form.
Below is an example of an offensive philosophy we had at one of the programs I coached at:
EXECUTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TALENT
This offensive philosophy is what we, as an offensive staff, expected to execute versus our opponents. More importantly, however, we made sure that our players understood the philosophy. This is something that is often overlooked by coaching staffs. In order for players to execute a philosophy they must understand it. In other words, you can’t simply install a particular play without explaining the concept of the play and how the play is designed to take advantage of the opponent. If the players understand the concept or the philosophy, they will have a better chance at executing their individual assignment within the play as they will understand their roll within the play.
By having a team, offensive, defensive, and special teams philosophy, as well as expectations for each player, a coach can create a foundation of success for his team to live by. Additionally, by doing this, the coach has established a foundation from which discipline is justified if necessary.
Coach Van Tassel