Studies have well-documented the influence coaches have in lives of student-athletes. Here are three suggestions for effectively reaching your athletes:

  1. Clearly communicate your philosophy.
    A well-articulated philosophy is essential to establishing a winning culture. More importantly, strong philosophies are necessary to effectively teach life skills to student-athletes. Coaches must also develop strategies (e.g., keywords, modeling) for communicating and teaching life skills if athletes are to carry those skills to other areas of their lives.
  1. Employ democratic leadership, training and instruction, and social support in your coaching.
    Democratic leadership, training and instruction, and social support are three coaching behaviors shown to regularly have a positive influence on the coach-athlete relationship. Research shows that players respond positively when they are involved in decision-making, taught according to their learning styles, and shown genuine care by their coaches.
  1. Be self-aware.
    Studies indicate that coaches’ perceptions of their coaching is often higher than their players’ perceptions. As a result, coaches must be continually monitoring and reflecting on their own behavior to ensure effectiveness. A coach’s personal goal must be consistent improvement and growth.

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