Weekly Coach Note: Coaching Relationships

Weekly Coach Note: Coaching Relationships
Weekly Coach Note:
Coaching Relationships
This week we focus on the "R" in the GROW
approach in understanding coaching as
As a coach, it is important to cultivate healthy
relationships on your team. There are so many
relationships that your players will be involved
in, and it is a vital role of a coach to make sure
that your players are engaging in fun,
respectful, fruitful relationships.
With teammates: Perhaps relationships with
teammates are the easiest kind of relationships
to overlook for a coach. Because players are
working with each other and they are all on the
same team, it could be assumed that they will
have a lot in common and that friendships will
flourish. While this is likely, it is important to
make sure that you are encouraging
relationships with all players and that everyone
feels welcome. Maybe a lot of your players
attend the same school or are on the same
academic track, and naturally mesh, but it’s key
to make sure that every member feels valued.
Do this by keeping a good pulse on the team.
Meet with captains to see how team chemistry
is developing. And make practice more than
just a place to work on skills; make it a fun
place where enjoyable shared experiences can
turn into lifelong memories.
With opponents: It is in a coach’s and a
player’s best interest to respect an opponent.
Treating a competitor with dignity and respect
will make players more humble and tenacious in
competition. It might be easy to write off an
opponent as inferior and then get defeated
because of the cavalier attitude. It also is easy
to caricaturize the opponent as an “enemy.”
“Make sure
your players know
they are working
with you,
not for you.”
~ John Wooden
Remember that the term "compete" comes
from the Latin to strive together, and
competitors are best seen as challengers who
have the opportunity to bring out the best in
your athletes. This respect begins with you as a
coach, and the welcome you show to other
teams, and how you act when you are a guest
in their home.
With officials: Officials always seem to get the
short end of the stick. A great game by an
official is one in which they are barely noticed.
A bad game is always exaggerated to feel like
the end of the world. Encourage your players to
realize that an official’s place is to maintain that
the rules of the game. They are not going to
make every call perfectly. Their job is extremely
difficult, and officials will perform best when
they are working with teams who are respectful
and courteous.
With fans and parents: Parents and fans
often emit enthusiasm, intensity, and scrutiny
while watching youth and high school sports.
Make sure that your players know that their
only responsibilities on the field or in the gym
are to their coach, their teammates, to
themselves, and to God. Their focus should be
on the goals that they have set with you and
the rest of the team. Fans and parents can be
an asset to a team, but if you see that fans or
parents are becoming an unhealthy distraction
to a player, stick up for your athlete in the
appropriate manner, and contact an athletic
director or league official if necessary.
Dedicating time as a coach to developing
quality relationships around sport will make the
sport experience more enjoyable and growthfilled for all of your athletes and yourself!
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