Coaching: Three Tips for Better Communication With Your Athletes

Coaching: Three Tips for Better Communication With Your Athletes

Kyle Ohman, Contributor

A coach's job is to come up with the best possible game plan for their team to win and then transfer that knowledge to the players, who execute the game plan. If the coach is not able to communicate and get across what he knows to the players then it is never going to work, and the game plan is useless.

Everyone needs to be on the same page and working to accomplish the same goal. A coach needs to be able to effectively communicate with their players to have success, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Here are three tips you can use to help improve communication between you and your players.

Don't Assume that Your Players Already Know
Sometimes as coaches we forget that our players don't understand the game on the same level as we do. You have most likely been in your sport for a long time and have had years to learn and grow. If you are coaching younger kids that haven't been playing very long then they aren't going to be able to understand things the same way you do.

Don't assume that they know how to execute a specific part of the game plan just because it easily makes sense to you. Be thorough in explaining in explaining your plays, team strategy, etc. and then ask questions to make sure that they know what is going on. This will prevent a lot breakdowns when you get into a game situation. Also you are really helping your players develop their sport IQ, because you are making sure that they understand and not just letting it go over top of their heads..

Encourage Your Player to Ask Questions
It is important that your players know that they can ask questions when they don't understand what is going on. A lot of times players are hesitant to ask questions because they don't want to show that they don't understand. As the coach you need to promote being able to ask questions when they don't know what is going on. If you are the head coach you might not always have the time to go over every little detail with each player but that is what assistant coaches are for.

Group and Individual Communication
There are two forms of communication that a coach should use with their players, both need to be used to effectively get the message across. First there is group communication and that is when you are in a huddle before a practice, workout, etc. or having a team meeting. It is important that you stress the importance of players paying attention during this time and really doing their best to understand. Let them know that being able to execute the game plan will directly affect their playing time.

Second is individual or personal communication with your players. This is when you are able to sit down and talk one on one with a player. During this time you can give more personalized instruction and reiterate what you said to the entire team. Whether it is having individual meetings with players during the week or taking 5 minutes before or after practice to talk, it is important that you do this. It not only reinforces what you need them to do, but it shows the player that you care about them personally and that you need them.

Conclusion
Communication is a big part of your job as a coach, so it makes sense to work on becoming better at communicating with your players. You won't get everything right all the time but you will continue to get better at it, and become a better coach in the process. Being able to communicate solves a lot of problem and even prevents some from ever being able to happen.

Author Bio
This article was written by Kyle Ohman. Kyle Ohman was a thousand point scorer at Liberty University (div. 1) and was ranked the 19th best shooter in the country by Fox Sports his senior year. Kyle has also played professionally in Spain. Most recently he coached a high school team that played on a national level and beat the 12th ranked team in the nation. Coach Ohman is the co-owner and founder of BasketballHQ.com    Follow them on Twitter   Like them on Facebook




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