N.I.T.E. - Keys to Great Communication

A few years ago I attended a clinic and heard PGC Basketball's, TJ Rosene, talk about communication and the acronym NITE.  Ever since then, we have adopted it within our program and use it daily with our players.  It has been a wonderful addition to our success and has helped improve our communication both on and off the court.

Anytime we communicate with another person we should always include their name.  Not only does it confirm whose attention we are trying to get, but it also gives affirmation to the other person that what we are about to say is meaningful.  Receivers of our communication are much more likely to listen if they hear their name associated within the context of the message.

Words and/or actions should always carry meaning.  It is always easy to convey information over a long period of time, but it takes a special skill to communicate important information with as few words as possible.  Whether it's a timeout or during play on the floor, there is limited time to communicate what needs to be communicated.  We need to work on simplifying our words so that we can give necessary information in the allotted amount of time.  This information should be direct and to the point, allowing the receiver to process what needs to be done quickly. 

The way we say something is just as important as the actual words being said.  A monotone or lackadaisical voice conveys negativity and a lack of trust.  Our tone of voice should be enthusiastic and energetic, which allows the person you are talking to to establish trust and a sense of urgency in the situation.  Positive words will encourage a positive tone of voice.  Always keep your attitude upbeat and optimistic, even when adversity is present. 

On the court during play, eye contact cannot always happen (such as playing defense).  But anytime you have the opportunity to look someone in the eye you must take advantage of that and do it!  The eyes are associated with the ears.  When you establish eye contact you are accomplishing two things. 1. You are letting the person you are talking to know that you care and you mean what you say and 2. You can be confident that the other person is listening and hearing what you say.  People who maintain eye contact are perceived as being confident and trustworthy.