Connecting With Players

The difference between a pest and a guest is an invitation.
— Joshua Medcalf

My desire as a coach is to connect with our players and build genuine, lasting relationships. I want to be a trustworthy mentor so that when something happens in their life and they need advice, I can be counted on.  


Our job as coaches is to push players to become better both on and off the court.  Sometimes this requires us to say things to our players that they don't want to hear.  Although we  constantly encourage and applaud our players successes, we also criticize and point out their flaws quite a bit, too.  And which one do you think most players dwell on and remember?  

Well, that depends.

Connect before you direct.
— Jamie Gilbert

As coaches, we need to pour our hearts into our players.  We need to invite them into our lives and make an effort to be transparent with them.  We need to be willing to share our experiences because we have been there too.  It is foolish of us to expect our players to feel a connection with us if the only interaction we have with them is on the court or during required team meetings.  There needs to be more.  We need to get into their world and be vulnerable.  They are going through a lot and it is our responsibility to be there for them.  We are only able to do that when we establish a sincere connection with them as people.  

I'm convinced that if I can authentically connect with our players off the court, they will respect me and listen to me on the court.  Now, the applause and encouragement means so much more to them and they know that when I criticize and correct, I am doing it because I believe in them.  


No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.