Spirit Education & Improvement
Teaching players Spirit of the Game is simple, yet difficult. The fundamentals are easy: know and abide by the rules, be fair-minded, have fun, and communicate properly. However, how to deal with the details during the game is when it counts.
Players and coaches who teach new players the game and the rules should also ensure that these beginners understand the fundamentals of Spirit of the Game. To facilitate the teaching of Spirit, here are some useful resources:
- 90-minute WFDF Spirit Course
- Ten things players should know about Spirit (USAU)
- Spirit of Coaching (USAU)
How to improve the Spirit in your league/event
- Use a qualitative Spirit Scoring system to provide constructive feedback on how the other teams could improve their adherence to the Spirit of the Game.
- Reward teams who get good spirit scores.
- Get Spirit Captains to talk to each other if there is a problem with spirit during a game.
- Supervise games involving beginners or younger players.
- Assign a Spirit Director to oversee the league or spirit nationally.
- Encourage Spirit Circles.
- Consider formal policies for dealing with teams/players with low spirit. (For example, UKU Spirit Policy).
How to improve the Spirit in your team
- Know the rules really well.
- Adopt a team code of conduct that outlines expected behaviour and penalties.
- Talk to players on your own team if you think they have problems with their spirit and discipline teammates who continue to break the spirit.
- In the case where a novice player commits an infraction out of ignorance of the rules, experienced players should explain the infraction.
- Realise that there are always different perspectives to every situation, and everyone’s judgment is clouded somewhat by the outcomes they desire.
Tell your players to use the BE CALM Strategy.
- Breathe: don’t react straight away
- Explain what you think happened
- Consider what they think happened
- Ask other players for advice/perspective/rules if needed
- Listen to what everyone has had to say
- Make a call loudly and clear
Full article and discussion: Gotta Teach the Children
(featuring Head Coaches for Junior National teams from Australia, Canada, Israel, and the USA)
Full article and discussion: Walking the Walk Worldwide
(featuring disc leaders from China, New Zealand, and South Africa)