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Suspensions Only Go So Far, Focus On Communication

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Lon Babby, a PCA-Phoenix Board Member, is a Senior Advisor for the Phoenix Suns (@Suns). He is best known for his time as an NBA agent for some of the game's most respected sportsmen: Tim Duncan, Shane Battier, Ray Allen and others. He also spent over 35 years as an attorney, starting with the Washington Redskins, and is known today as one of the 100 most powerful people in sports.

When players break team rules or act inappropriately, coaches often resort to team suspensions to try and change that behavior. At the professional level they are served up hefty fines. Here, Babby says that this isn't always the most effective way to both discipline and change behavior.

If coaches communicate with players about how their actions reflect on the entire organization -- teammates, coaches, administrators, and fans -- it can teach athletes the importance to behave appropriately. When athletes know that there is an entire spectrum of people relying on each other, it sends a strong message.