Coach Brad · Coaching · Development · Education · Leadership · Success

Successful Coaches Establish Caring Relationships

A coach is someone that can give correction without causing resentment.

  • John Wooden (Named Greatest Coach of the 20th Century)


The athletic coaching profession includes numerous concepts such as:

  • Teaching mental and physical skills
  • Teaching tactical ideas
  • Providing feedback to improve player skills and tactics
  • Building positive team relationships
  • Teaching leadership and personal growth development
  • Providing in game guidance and leadership

Giving correction without causing resentment is such a powerful concept. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resentment is a feeling of anger or displeasure about someone or something unfair. The most successful coaches are able to provide player correction in such a manner that the athlete:

  • Makes the suggested adjustment.
  • Increases personal motivation.
  • Has greater respect and appreciation for the coach.

The effort the coach places in creating a positive and respectful player-coach relationship is the most meaningful attribute towards creating a relationship that allows the coach to give correction without causing resentment. Strong player-coach relationships are developed by the coach relating to the player on a personal level. The coach who demonstrates a high level of care for each player initiates the type of relationship where learning through the process of teaching and correction become the expectation and even appreciated by the players.

Seems simple enough but so many coaches are programmed to place an increased emphasis on X’s and O’s as opposed to relationship growth and enhancement. Easy yet meaningful ways to connect with players are:

  • Personal discussion about player interest prior to the start of the training session.
  • Asking the athlete how their day went.
  • In season and out of season meetings to discuss growth and development strategies.
  • Learning names of family members and including them in mutually respectful conversations when appropriate.
  • Weekly email to families about team growth and successes.
  • Creating cherished team rituals and traditions that are passed from season to season.
  • Shared meals on special team occasions.

The coach that can establish a caring relationship through fair, honest, consistent, and trusting behaviors will have an entire team of committed players doing everything they can to advance the group. These meaningful and memorable connections established between coach and player enhance the overall athletic experience for all involved.

Correction before relationship building is ineffective…build the positive relationship first and then provide technical and tactical coaching brilliance. Your players, team culture, and group cohesion will reap the benefits!!!

Empowering athletes, families, coaches, and organizations to create opportunities for lifetime success,

Coach Brad

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2 thoughts on “Successful Coaches Establish Caring Relationships

    1. What an amazing video that every coach must watch. The power we have as coaches to create a positive or negative experience changes behaviors over a lifetime. Thank you so much for sharing this video…I am sharing it with all of my leadership friends.

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