Saban On Discipline

Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban talks about discipline, the first ingredient of his list of intangibles necessary for team success. And he knows that his idea of discipline is not necessarily that of everyone. The issue arose in his press conference following the first day of Crimson Tide spring football practice Saturday.

Reporters were able to view only a slice of Alabama football practice Saturday. Following the workout, Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban was asked about discipline, the reporter adding that she had not seen any pushups being done by Bama players.

In the past under Mike Shula, a Bama player who made an error -- usually a mental error -- was ordered to perform 10 quick pushups as a method of calling attention to the transgression.

Saban said that discipline "is not where we want it to be. I think we've made improvement on it. We want to improve it–especially when things get difficult, especially when they get tired, espcially when circumstances are adverse, like today when it was hot. There is a lot of anxiety.

"An ability to keep your focus, your mental intensity, play with intelligence, keep a sense of urgency about what you're doing all become critical factors. I think a large part of that is called mental toughness, but I think a big part of that is discipline.

"Everybody needs to understand that I don't think discipline is punishment. If you're going to punish someone for discipline, then you should give them a punishment that will change their behavior, and I don't think making someone do pushups for making mistakes is a punishment that will make them change their behavior.

"Something that's significant that you can take away from someone is something that can probably change their behavior."

Saban provided a practice example, citing his 16-year-old daughter, Kristen. Kristen has a computer and a cell phone. "Just take them away," Saban said, and "(it) will get monumental tasks accomplished at our house. No pushups or spankings."

He added that son "Nicholas is a little oder, so I have to go for the car keys. You start getting a little reaction to what you want."


BamaMag Top Stories