Undoubtedly, one of the most important attributes any good sports coach can possess is the gift of communication. Without regular clear and concise communication between team and coach, it is likely that confusion will reign, results will suffer and team morale will be adversely affected. For instance, no amount of physical practice of field hockey drills will be truly effective without clear guidance and communication running concurrently alongside.
A good sports coach should review their own communication skills on a frequent basis. Often, it is best for an impartial observer to watch a training session and make notes in relation to how the coach communicated with the players. A number of questions should be asked within the observer’s notes. Did the coach clearly explain what was expected of each player during the training session? How well was each drill explained? Were standards for measuring success or failure clearly defined? Do the players seem to show a healthy respect for the coach?
Respect between coach and players is a crucial bridge to cross on the road to success in team sports. One of the best ways for a coach to earn respect from their players is to communicate effectively. People are far more likely to build up a healthy respect for someone who can put their points across in a clear and concise manner, where no room is left for misinterpretation. This holds true for all aspects of coaching, from introducing new drills to letting someone know that they have not made the final team.
That last point shows the value of coach honesty. There is no value whatsoever in cutting someone from the team without explaining exactly why the decision has been made. Although the player may not be happy, at least by fully explaining the reasons behind the action, they will be able to understand why it needed to be done. From having the tough conversation of team selection to introducing the new field hockey drill video through sport plan or other companies, communication is everything. More information about good communication within sports coaching can be found at UK Sport and also the website of leading charity Sports Coach UK.
Good communication and healthy respect often go hand in hand together and can lead to a great deal of success within team sports.