16 Communication Tips For Coaches

Last month I had the opportunity to do my first Facebook live interview with Lindsey Wilson Nichols of Positive Performance Mental Training. Our conversation centered on communication as it relates to coaching, but so many of the 2,300+ viewers who are not coaches found the content valuable that I wanted to share it. 

This is the most information I’ve given outside of a formal workshop so please take whatever you find useful!

Below is where you can find various topics within the recording. Note: The clock on the lower right of the screen starts at 52:56 and counts down. All time markers are in order of appearance.

48:00 “reframing the negative – rephrasing in the positive”. How we can alter our communication to create positive change and increase success.

41:00 “What does that look like?”. This is the question most teams fail to ask after defining their values, expectations, or commitments. Defining what something looks like greatly increases ownership and accountability.

37:45 the inherent danger in asking rhetorical questions.

36:00 talking to an athlete about their weight. How you frame a conversation has a direct impact on how your message is received. Practice phrasing what you want in terms of what the other party values.

30:00 meeting people where they are. Asking vs. Assuming allows for greater understanding, transparent expectations, and more efficient interactions.

28:00 “How do you deal with parents?” Lead with respect, even if they’re being disrespectful. Clearly define boundaries at the beginning of the season and remind as necessary. Build the bridge - you don’t have to agree, but you are responsible for making parents feel heard. Acknowledge that their engagement with you comes from love for their child and meet them on that bridge. Impart a larger perspective as it relates to their issue. 

21:30 improv will save your life ;) Here’s how you can prepare for the unexpected and an exercise that will alter your perspective. When you frame a situation from a different perspective you allow someone to have a different experience.

17:25 coaching your own child. Coaching your child as you would any other player on your team is crucial to the way they are viewed and respected by their peers.

16:00 on criticism – options are a good thing. Here are a variety of ways in which you can criticize or critique a player for individual and team benefit.

14:25 Leading with the “why”. Speaking in terms of “we” and asking for the “why” deepens learning and understanding. I give an example of how a simple shift in language creates a dramatic impact on how your message is received and the motivation behind your team’s mindset. 

12:30 on winning. How I helped one coach win more games by never talking about winning.

10:40 “How do I get my team to be more positive?” As the coach, it starts with you. Reward the behavior you want to see. Acknowledge the little things and publicly acknowledge individuals whose actions support the culture you’re creating.

9:20 the power of video. Video is a factual, non-emotional teaching tool. Awareness is the prerequisite for change ;)

7:10 “How do you prefer to receive criticism?” Asking this question on an individual basis or within the context of a team sets the stage for understanding and effective communication.

5:50 “I”, “you”, and “we” – how to use them strategically so the recipient remains open to your message.

4:40 start with acknowledgment. This is good ol' sandwich method revisited.

As you begin 2018 remember that there is no limit to the way communication can impact the work that you do. Cheers!

Betsy- The Coaches' Coach & Communication Specialist