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How do you stop athletes from breaking team rules?

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I've seen lots of blog posts about team rules and athlete 'consequences'. These discussions rarely address the actual rules and their relevance, focussing instead on how to manage rule transgressions. But sometimes the problem isn't the transgression, its the rule.

Imagine a situation where you have a number of reasonably important competitions coming up, and you want to make sure your best athlete is preparing and competing the way you think will optimise performance. So you set a rule that, if you aren't in training camp by a particular day, then you are not going to be selected for the entire season. Makes sense, right? You are just doing your job by making sure your best player has optimal preparation. But what happens when he doesn't arrive by your deadline. You still need him. So you select him for the activities he makes himself available for. What have you gained by creating a rule, having the athlete break it, then breaking it yourself?

There is a sto…