Communication is so fundamentally important in the coach/athlete relationship – It is the key for progression and success.
From day one, athletes and coaches begin a journey, through both observation and responses a level of communication is created. It’s the start of a testing time, where many questions are asked from both sides. There needs to be trust and belief. Understanding each other also requires patience. With good communication these can be managed, so that both parties are clear on the tasks that lay ahead.
Athlete’s need to be open and honest to what their goals and targets are. It is also important they understand their capabilities, and if their expectations are realistic in order to stand any chance of successful performance in the future. This needs to be communicated between the athlete and coach.
Writing out a training plan is the start of the communication. The coach will watch, listen and learn about the individual and what their needs are. Through writing and talking we gain a level of communication, but it is also through the observation of body language (a technique ofter overlooked) that can give coaches the greatest of feedback of all, with no words spoken. Reading and observing athletes without even speaking to them takes a level of understanding, observation, skill and time to get right; but through various different responses your communication is key to achieve the right balance and the best athlete mentality possible.
Full time Trisutto squad in Cyprus runs year round with Coach Perry.
Every individual athlete is different in what type of communication they need and what type they best respond to. The key to building the athlete coach relationship is how the coach responds to the athlete’s reactions. It is very important to understand when and how to force an action, to in turn provoke a reaction.
We all respond differently and our characters give off different reactions. Observation and making an appropriate response back and forth is fundamental in the ongoing development of the relationship. It is important to be able to use and adapt different methods of communication and strike a balance to what’s needed and when. It is also important to understand how to manage the athletes character and develop a style for each individual by observing, listening and learning.
Having my own squad, currently based in Cyprus, I know that the type of communication I choose is very important for the squad dynamics, the squad progression and the individual success of every athlete in it. I am forever learning about each individual and through observation of body language my understanding to where each athlete’s mood is, from session to session, day by day is ongoing. Using different communication skills and acknowledging that no two peopler are alike, is so important, and my actions as a coach has a major impact, not only on the individual, but on the whole squad.
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