I’m the type of coach who wants and expects everyone to do what they’re supposed to do. Be early. Work hard. Do more than expected. Love the game. Respect the coaches. Look after your teammates. All that and more. It’s what I was taught. It’s what I tried to do. And, sometimes I just don’t understand the guys who don’t get on board with that.

Since I expect guys to simply do what’s right, it’s sometimes difficult to know when and how to enforce discipline. Here’s what I mean: over time, I simply expect that guys will, by virtue of being around others who are, do the right thing. The problem: that doesn’t always happen. What do you do with the guy who won’t get on board with the program’s expectations and rules?

Here are three things to keep in mind, based on God’s word from Proverbs 21:15–“The execution of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror for the workers of iniquity.”

First, you have more people doing the right thing than the wrong thing. THAT guy is typically and outlier. He might be ruining your day and threatening to ruin your program, but he’s just one guy. Deal with him as such. Don’t assume that all your guys are doing the wrong things. Focus on that guy’s behavior and deal with him as an individual who needs correction, discipline, and justice.

Second, you are God’s instrument of justice for your program. Whether you’re a player who feels he has limited authority and opportunity to execute justice, or a coach who knows that’s your role, you are the one God has placed in that program to help promote what is right. Being his instrument of justice doesn’t mean that you run around just trying to put people in line, but it does mean that you refuse to bend on what is right and what is wrong. God is equally holy and loving. So must we be.

Third, the only people who don’t want you to enforce the rules of the program and enforce what is right are the people breaking the rules and doing what is wrong. Everyone else will celebrate when you begin to handle the problems with THAT guy. There are many people waiting on the coach or team leader to do something about the guy causing all the problems and breaking all the rules.

Sadly, some people won’t get the message, won’t be influenced by the people doing the right thing. They need justice and discipline. If you’re a coach or team leader, seek God’s wisdom and get to work on it.

Lord Jesus, give me courage to stand for what is right and to help lead those who are in the wrong. Amen.