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By Carlena Knight

Former national basketball head coach George Hughes believes that the culture of discipline needs to be changed in our athletes in order for true success to be attained.

Hughes, who was speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show, agrees that grassroot development must be looked at with the addition of more programs from National Federations but he is adamant that discipline must first be instilled.

“The thing about what we have to do and pay keen attention to, is create a culture that is conducive to discipline and we have to create a culture that the kids understand that this is something that can take you all around the world. How is that going to change? It is going to take a lot of mental work because basically our situation here is just too loose; it’s too lax. We have to have some more rigid programmes, some more ‘this is what you are doing at this time and this what you are doing at that time and you have to get it completed’. They have to have a certain level of rigidity in order for them to conform so that the culture can change,” said Hughes.

He says we run the risk of creating ill-disciplined athletes.

“I can remember when I was at the University of Delaware when I did that course and this tutor, I will never forget her name, Christina Pink, and she said to us ‘we are giving kids this new ability to play, we are giving them this new lifestyle but are we teaching them how to behave’. She said that we are just creating monsters because they have all this popularity but they don’t know how to use all this.

“So, added to all the skill work that you are giving to them, you have to teach them how to operate with this new lifestyle that you’ve given to them and that’s where I am talking about the culture has to change, has to be a little more rigid in order for it to work,” Hughes said.

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