Coaches and discipline

Thurman Bell, a successful football coach, always began his practices with jumping jacks accompanied with shouting the letters “D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D-I-S-C..” for 30 to 60 reps. Coach Bell valued discipline above everything; one practice we performed a simple 3-minute drill for over an hour to appease his thirst for perfection.

Discipline and education may be distinguishable concepts today but were conceptually identified in former times. The Greek word ∏ΑΙΔΕΙΑ (Paideia) means both education and discipline. The ancient Hebrew words for educate,מוסר (musar) and the word it derived from, יסר (yasar), also meant discipline.

I’ve been fortunate to have had other good coaches:  two martial arts coaches – Sensei Kunio Miyaki and Hanshi Sid Campbell and one exceptional language coach – Professor Rali Christo.  When these gurus teach their subject, you know they know what they’re talking about; they’ve been to the top of the mountain and know how to get you to the summit in the most efficient manner.

So, when following any of these guides up the varied slopes of their special mountain, expect an education that is indistinguishable from discipline, in other words – Paideia.

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7 thoughts on “Coaches and discipline

    1. Following through with focus and determination is the key. To have the determination, you need the will. And will without love is nothing – you have to love what you pursue. But to love it, you need to know it, albeit vaguely. So here’s the bind – how can you love something without the desire to learn about it?

        1. “[O]ne practice we performed a simple 3-minute drill for over an hour to appease his thirst for perfection.”

          Appeasing – I don’t think I know how you use the term. Did you mean “giving in to the demands of a hostile and/or dangerous power in order to avoid trouble”?

        2. This coach appeased himself. We were the instruments, the clay of the potter. In such situations one either submits or quits.

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