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Defining Discipline: Conflict Resolution Lesson One

A Session Challenge!

Begin the session by placing a small treat in front of each player. Explain that they can choose to eat the treat now, but if they can wait until the end of the session they will get an additional treat.

What is Discipline?

1) Give each player a sticky note. Write the word "DISCIPLINE" on the board. Ask players to take one minute to write down what comes to mind when they see/hear this word.

2) Once completed have each player come up share their thoughts with the group and place their sticky note under the word.

3) Ask "Is DISCIPLINE a word with negative connotations?".

4) If the conversation has not led to this line of thinking, explain that DISCIPLINE can have both positive and negative connotations.

5) Have the players help to reorganise their sticky notes on the board. Place positive connotations on positive side and negative connotations on the negative side.

6) Ask what the results demonstrates about our attitudes towards discipline?

7) Explain that how you experience/perceive DISCIPLINE is dependent on whether you see yourself as having personal discipline, or you see yourself as a receiver of discipline. 

STANDARD THREE: If you lack SELF-DISCIPLINE, be prepared to receive DISCIPLINE!

One of the three team standards states: "If you lack SELF-DISCIPLINE be prepared for DISCIPLINE". The purpose for this standard is for our coaches and players to see discipline as a positive. Firstly because we do all we can to lead a disciplined lifestyles in all life's contexts, and secondly to understand that in giving/receiving discipline the goal is to show our LOVE through RESPECT to those who fail (or who we fail).

It is in an effort to support coaches and players in developing/maintaining a positive attitude towards the concept of discipline that we:

- Differentiate between SELF-DISCIPLINE and DISCIPLINE.

- Define a team standard to express our belief in the concept of POSITIVE DISCIPLINE. This standard helps us hold each other accountable!

THE CHALLENGE: The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment

Remember the treat provided at the beginning of the session? What the players have actually been participating in is a recreation of the world famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment. This was a psychological experiment originally conducted in the late 1960's by Walter Mischel of Stanford University. The purpose of the experiment was to test a young child's ability to delay gratification. In follow up studies of the young participants later in their lives the ability to delay gratification was found to correlate with achievement in various aspects of the individuals lives.

Participants who were able to delay eating the marshmallow in their youth were most often also found to:

- Achieve higher scores in the SAT in high school.

- Attained greater post secondary degrees.

- Had healthier body mass index reading in adulthood.

After explaining these facts to the team:

1) Ask the players to show the treat if they still have it. Congratulate them!

2) Ensure those that did not delay their gratification that this does not doom them to a life of mediocrity! Further studies have determined that delaying gratification

or SELF-DISCIPLINE is a skill. Like any skill it can be learned, practiced and developed. The first step is recognising when we fail to have self-discipline,

recognise and accept the consequences, and strive to be better.

3) Provide the players who delayed gratification their reward. As they enjoy their achievement or recognise their failure and the consequence, share this interesting

and fun take on the Marshmallow Experiment!