In life there comes a time when tough decisions need to be made. Every single day we make a series of decisions and each subsequent choice has an effect on future decisions we will make. These series of decisions are not so much what make up our personalities, lifestyles, or culture, but in essence are what we hold true to our personal values, morals and ethics.
I am currently in the proofreading part of my tenth e-book on discipline and how it relates to hockey players, coaches and parents. It is a reference guide on how the hockey ‘family’ that is each and every team should cohabit and function. As I was writing it, I found myself focusing more on the morals and ethics of the hockey team than on the discipline.
It shocked me in a way because in order to stay true to your own set of personal values it requires discipline. Without out the team, society and world would have no structure. It also poses the thought of how your decisions affect your discipline, values and morals.
A decision to speed may put you or others at risk of a car accident. Perhaps you could get a ticket. How much discipline does it take to maintain the speed limit? Will this prevent getting a ticket? Certainly, but will it reduce or eliminate the chance of a car accident? Maybe not. So what is more valuable to the person driving is not necessarily the inherent risk that comes with operating a motor vehicle, but the law that states you abide by a certain speed limit.
These cultural, societal and team laws form the basis of how we as people choose to be disciplined. This discipline correlates with the decisions that we make and the decisions that we make ultimately have an effect on future choices.
From a team perspective we should not be looking purely at the code of conduct that we wish players to follow, but also how this conduct will affect the decisions they make and choices they have. When we put emphasis on grades, for instance, we cannot be angered by the player who misses practice to study for an exam. Where most people would point to lack of time management skills (myself included) what we are not realizing is that the ethics set forth in the code of conduct have given the player that opportunity to place academics above hockey and thus you are missing a couple players from practice during finals.
The team requires a code of conduct, but that code should be followed through to include choices and decisions that the players are going to be asked to make. This is where discipline of the coaches and parents is integral as they have to determine what specific goals they wish to set forth. These goals of the organization then should be the choices and decisions that are incorporated into the body of the code of conduct.
If every team took an approach like this, instead of drafting a generic code of conduct, the team will function better as a whole, decision making will be easier and goals will be accomplished. If not, we are only setting ourselves up for tough decisions and wavering discipline.
What are your thoughts on how values, morals and ethics fit into the team environment?