Team Punishment?

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by stuntaholic, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. stuntaholic

    stuntaholic They call me Susie

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    I am a coach for a high school program and lately another coach and I have been disagreeing about team consequences.

    Currently for most things, not all, if an individual makes a mistake the whole team has a consequence. My reasoning for this is at a competition if one person makes a mistake the whole team will suffer. This way you are building team unity and the realization in the athletes that they behavior effects the whole team.

    This has become somewhat of a problem because of a simple 5 8-count motion drill we have been working on for 7 weeks. As the weeks have gone on the consequence has become more severe. Recently we have had 4-5 athletes decide to not show up because they "do not want to make the team run for their laziness". Since we are still in the summer and in Illinois we can not make summer practices mandatory. So in theory these kids are able to skip practice with no repercussions.


    The coach I am not on the same page with claims that this is a problem. I do not like losing kids in my program but from my perspective we are just getting rid of the slackers. The motion drill we do can be mastered in probably 1-3 hours depending on how quick you pick it up. So basically these kids just aren't willing to put in the time or effort to learn the drill. While these athletes are very talented athletes they aren't willing to dedicate time to learning something simple. Therefore I do not see it as a huge loss and I also feel that team punishment is doing what it is suppose to do in a sense. It is making these athletes feel guilty for having their team have a consequence for their actions.

    So I wanted to get everyone's thought on this situation but also team punishment in general.
     
  2. MissBee

    MissBee Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Since it's summer and you can't make practices mandatory, there's really nothing you can do about the kids "skipping" the optional practices. I run my summer practices not as cheer practices but as fitness and conditioning practices. I do a CrossFit approach and post a "WOD" (workout of the day) on our team website (everything is done using body weight-air squats, ab work, lunges, running/sprinting, push up variations) and the kids can either do it on their own, or show up to our practice and do it with me and whoever else shows up. They are required to email me by a certain time to let me know that they will be coming (I don't want to bother driving over if no one can make it). This way the kids who work during our evening work outs, or who are away on vacation or at a camp etc can still do the daily workout.

    I tell the kids that it is not mandatory, and that there are no consequences for them not showing up, but if they choose to spend the summer on the couch watching MTV and eating crap and not doing the workouts, they will have a consequence when the season really starts, they won't be able to keep up with the team and won't have the same strength as the rest of the team. If that means I pull them from a stunt group, so be it-that's called natural consequences. NFL training camps are starting up and I sent out a team email with a link to an article about NFL players who showed up to training camp and failed their fitness tests and had to miss out on "real" practice and instead do things like ride stationary bikes, run, lift.....not what they were there to do, and it was letting their team down.
     
  3. stuntaholic

    stuntaholic They call me Susie

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    Thank you for the response MissBee. I am basically on the same page as you with everything you say. I actually have the luxury of having a great group of kids and almost 90% of my program shows up all summer. Which is great. What's your opinion of when practices are mandatory of a team punishment for one individuals mistakes?
     
  4. CheerBank

    CheerBank Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Cp's gym has seemed to move away from the team punishment mentality especially when it comes to stunting. If a stunt doesn't hit then it's only that stunt group that has to run laps, do pushups or burpees or whatever the coach tells them to do.
    Not sure how they address it when it is an issue with the jump or dance sequence though.

    What does the other coach feel is an appropriate course of action if not in favor of addressing it from a team standpoint?
     
  5. SheCheers

    SheCheers Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I think my response depends on a few things. 1) What is the other coach's specific position on consequences? What method would they employ? 2) How "severe" are these consequences getting? I'd really like to know because my imagination is just running wild with this...

    But, from what you've gathered, if something isn't working, then I believe it's time to look at a new way to do it. For one, I'm fairly certain that everyone knows that in cheer, if one person messes up, the whole team gets a deduction. I don't think it needs to be "taught" repeatedly throughout each practice. 7 full weeks of the same motion drill would get REALLY BORING really fast, I would be outta there, too. Who wants to spend their summer doing that???

    The last thing I'll say is not everyone responds well to "punishment" and you can get crazier and more severe with them it'll just break them, not make them conform. That's not "laziness", that's a personality trait. You can't always go with one size fits all. But a little encouragement goes a long way with just about anyone. How about saying "if we can hit this motion sequence, no running for two practices (or whatever)!" Give them a goal to work toward instead. I bet they're REALLY want to hit it then, instead of just giving up.
     
  6. Cheeranswers

    Cheeranswers Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    i know im not a coach but sometimes it gets really really really frustrating when we're doing stunts together and one keeps dropping and everyone gets consequences/has to keep going. if im working my but off to stick my stunt and someone else keeps dropping theres and i have to keep going i get pretty grumpy.. i get the "team" aspect and that you win and lose together but you can only control YOURSELF. i think there has to be a certain line where you say "okay, if youve hit the last 5, get a drink, if you haven't, when you hit 5 you can too". that way its not open ended. you know when you'll be done. where as "we're going until we all hit" is extremely frustrating and you dont know if you'll do 1 more or 10 more. if one group isnt hitting, they can do consequences and come in on their own time instead of holding the rest of the team back

    sorry for the rant.. :wasntme:
     
  7. cupieqt

    cupieqt Person everyone wants to meet this season National Champion

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    Very good responses here!

    I agree with everyone. The only thing I have to add is a question. What are you willing to die on the hill for? This is important to you so look for ways to motivate and encourage all of the kids. It sounds to me (just from the limited info you've given) that they're just frustrated with the inevitable. Change things up a bit and you'll probably pull that greatness you want to see instead of the laziness you despise.


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  8. stuntaholic

    stuntaholic They call me Susie

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    The other coaches position is that he feels if an individual makes a mistake then the individual should have a consequence, not the team. My side to this is that if they individual consequences they are not as willing to work hard at learning something. And I think this is supported by the athletes statements. They would show up if they were the only ones doing the punishment but they won't show up if the team has punishment. So from my perspective they most likely aren't willing to work at the drill no matter what and those are people that I feel like aren't going to help the team.

    The consequences are just running and plyometric drills. When I say severe I just mean I have increased the amount throughout the summer.

    I agree a motion drill can get boring after 7 weeks. It was taught in segments and we were suppose to move on to a new drill after 2-3 weeks but because some of the individuals have not learned the drill we have not been able to move on. If they aren't able to pick up a drill I do not think it is wise to move on to a new one.

    I use positive reinforcement in certain instances and I agree with you that positive reinforcement is necessary. I am not sure if I agree with that not everyone responds to negative reinforcement however. But we can agree to disagree on that point.
     
  9. stuntaholic

    stuntaholic They call me Susie

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    Just to pick your brain a bit. If you were the one not hitting and you knew your team would have a consequence for it would it motivate you more to nail that skill.

    And just to add you actually can control other people than yourself. I have had several athletes work with other athletes in order to make sure they are able to accomplish whatever it is that we are trying to accomplish. This is what makes me feel like team punishments make sense and work. I do feel that if the teammates are unable to control the actions for their teammates then it is an individual punishment. One of these instances would be an athlete misbehaving. In that case I feel it should be an individual consequence.
     
  10. CheerMomNTx

    CheerMomNTx I think I can mix Cheer Music

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    You definitely don't want to cause resentment among the team when you punish all for the mistake of one. Sometimes that approach can backfire.


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  11. stuntaholic

    stuntaholic They call me Susie

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    What do you mean by they are frustrated with the inevitable. I think I get what you are saying in that they are frustrated with the fact that they know they are going to have a consequence for not knowing. But I do want to clarify what you are saying with that statement. If that is what you are saying is it really inevitable if when the athletes are no longer showing up the athletes that have put in the time and effort to learn the skill all know it?
     
  12. stuntaholic

    stuntaholic They call me Susie

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    And thanks for the responses everyone I appreciate it. I have always believed in team punishment but I am always trying to improve at coaching and everything I read says that team punishment in general is the way to go. So I am just trying to get other opinions.
     
  13. Cheeranswers

    Cheeranswers Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    i think team punishment does work in some cases, but i think there just has to be a line. like said above, you dont want to create tension. theres been times where its the end of practice, we're all exhausted (but still hitting ours) and the ONE group keeps dropping. i'll admit that theres been some practices where ive been so frustrated that i would have been more than happy if that group walked out of the gym at that moment and didnt come back.. its harsh (and just in the moment, of course i would actually care if they left), but when you're tired and relying on another group where in this case, you cant control them at all, it really does cause tension. not necessarily "drama" or verbal tension, but just the "i wish they could just hit so we could go home" angry at them tension
     
  14. cupieqt

    cupieqt Person everyone wants to meet this season National Champion

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    I meant that the kids not coming to practice have given up because they don't know the drill yet but they do know they'll be punished for it. For example, if I go to practice every week knowing my stunt group isn't going to hit the stunt sequence and the whole team is going to have to run or condition for it, I'd stop going because I wouldn't want my teammates hating me. Of course, I'd try like heck to make that stunt hit, but if its still not hitting 6 weeks after we started working on it, and there were no changes made to it for possible improvement, I would just feel like a failure and a let down to my teammates. I would stop going to ensure they had success and weren't being punished by my continuing failure to meet expectations.


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  15. 12stepCheermom

    12stepCheermom Best Parent and Grammar Teacher '14

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    Ill try not to rant. One of our former programs as this team punishment mentality. It tore the team apart. The ones that didn't care kept doing the same things and the ones that did care were ready to go to jail over it by the end of the season. It built exactly no team unity. It made kids hate each other.

    The kids who are doing something wrong need to be addressed individually. That sets the expectation for everyone that if you mess up YOU will be addressed as well, rather than the passive aggressive "everyone will" when "everyone" wasn't the problem.

    Last thing, as a parent, running laps made me so annoyed. My kids aren't on a track team. If a stunt falls, the "punishment" should be that the particular group in question has to hit it 3,5,10 times in a row. THAT will address the fact the group needs more practice. running sprints does nothing.

    I don't mind conditioning but make it relevant. Mine don't do suicides in competition (even though they were made to in warm ups once). If you want to have them run suicides, make them handspring or standing tuck where they'd normally touch the floor. If you want endurance conditioning....full out. Make their conditioning relevant to what they do.


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