A team’s success is largely measured by its season results; however, successful coaches understand that building a strong relationship between coach and athlete is just as important as achieving victories. Building relationships with athletes helps the coach understand what motivates or drives each individual. It also highlights the coach’s personal, caring approach, demonstrating that the coach sees the player as more than just a ticket to victory. Building a relationship with each athlete helps improve the overall team spirit and also helps ensure that the team achieves its goals. However, there are other benefits associated with creating a strong relationship between coach and athlete.
For example, athletes may find that they can communicate their frustrations and ideas to the coach, and the coach in turn can develop a better strategy by understanding the athletes. The ability to create coach-team relationships is a unique skill that coaches must develop. It requires problem solving, patience, understanding and mutual trust – and it is up to the coach to pave the way for creating team connections. Coaches can develop several skills that will help them form strong bonds with their athletes. Examples include communication skills, the ability to use positive reinforcement, the ability to gain confidence, and the willingness to make oneself available to athletes who need advice or support.