Communication Advice

  • Get to know your players
    • Players respond best to coaches who take the time to learn about them.
    • Listen to the players needs and adapt your coaching style to suit each player.
  • Build positive relationships
    • The best coaches build great relationships with their players. They get to know their strengths and use this in their communications at training and on game day.
  • Communicate respectfully
    • Never yell at, or abuse players.
    • Your players should feel safe – free from verbal abuse, embarrassment or shaming.
  • Monitor your emotions
    • If your emotions are heightened you lose your capacity for high-level thinking.
    • Once a coach ‘flips their lid’ they are no use to anyone.
    • You are a powerful role model. You need to keep yourself in check.
  • Get your players into the performance zone
    • You cannot perform to the best of your ability if you are either over or under aroused.
    • Good coaches know this – they inspire their players to perform well and resist the urge to yell or abuse.
  • Use strategic communication
    • Training is time for teaching and feedback.
    • Game day is time to perform – You should minimise the amount of messages you give and should not introduce any new concepts.
  • Make your time with your team fun for all
    • Don’t take the game too seriously
    • Look for opportunities to celebrate success beyond winning.
    • Awesome coaches model this to their players; they know that players will perform at their best when they are relaxed. Having a focus upon fun relaxes players and increases their performance.
  • If you coach a junior team, you also need to coach you players’ parents
    • Before the season begins, you should communicate your expectations for the team, what your success criteria are and how you expect parents to support the whole team.
  • Tips for coaching parents
    • Set out your expectations at the start of the season on a document that every parent receives. This must include your process for team selection and game time/ rotations.
    • Provide a feedback form for parents to use to communicate any concerns throughout the season
    • Explain how you will communicate – at training – on game day – during the week
    • Tell parents what areas of success you hope to achieve for their kids
    • Ask them to assist you on match day by using positive barracking
    • Explain to them that match day is not for new messages/advice
    • Expect parents to stay away from the coaching team and players on the sidelines during a match
    • Be proactive – Expect one of your parents to believe that their child is ‘gifted’. Be ready to provide this parent with evidence based research that shows a junior champion rarely translates to an elite athlete.

We have also written a guide on how to be an AWESOME coach. Click here to find out how.