• The Southwestern

Does punishment in sports go too far or is it effective?

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Punishment is a common occurrence when it comes to sports. But is it also effective?

Can punishment in sports lead to better results? Photo provided by Wix.

By Zion Fitzpatrick

For The Southwestern

Being punished is how discipline is created amongst student-athletes. In the sports world, punishment is something that is very popular. Punishments like “Duck Walking,” the infamous “roll” down the football field, or just old-fashioned “gazzers” have all been experienced among student-athletes.

In interviews, SWOSU student-athletes expressed their thoughts on being punished by their coaches, most of them said that they hated it and the punishment could be uncalled for.

Sophomore Jalen Carr, who is currently the starting cornerback for the SWOSU Dawgs said, “Punishment never bothered me. I feel like it’s all mental. Being punished by your coach is like the real world, ‘You do the crime, you do the time.’ ”

Football coach Sean Wilkerson, who is currently the linebacker’s coach, shared his thoughts and opinions on punishment regarding his players.

In discussing when he felt it was appropriate to punish one of his athletes on the football team, Wilkerson replied, “To get your point across. Let’s say you have a football player who is not accepting coaching, you have to punish them. You have to punish to let them know you are in charge.”

On whether he would prefer to punish an individual or the whole team, the coach said, “It all depends. For an example, if a student-athlete is constantly not going to class, you can’t put that on the whole team. That’s strictly his fault.”

Nationally, there have been multiple incidents regarding coaches over punishing their players which sometimes would sometimes cause a negative effect on some players’ health. In discussing when he felt it was best to stop the punishment, the coach said, “You have to be able to read body language and be able to listen to the players. If the players were still talking and energetic, I would still keep the punishment going but if they are bending over and look gassed, then I would stop.”

The most common way of punishment Wilkerson said he would give his players is running because it is long and tiring.

“Any player that I know personally or have coached does not enjoy running for a long period of time,” he said.

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