Who Do Athletes Learn From?

Which coach did you learn best from growing up?

Were they the “cold, ivory-tower” type of leader or were they warm and personable?

We are willing to bet the coaches you learned best from were also the one’s you loved the most.

Are today’s athletes different from ones in the past?

Today’s athletes are no different. They learn from coaches they love.

As we enter the summer months it is the perfect time to reflect on what, and why we do what we do as coaches. We’re in this together and it’s our mission at Lead ‘Em Up to help coaches build meaningful relationships with players.

If you want to build a strong program, relationships should be one of your top priorities. The key for coaches is to be personable. Oftentimes we think we have to put on a front and show no emotion, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s good for your athletes to see your vulnerabilities. It makes you human, builds a connection, and eliminates walls between you and your athletes.

There is a connection between the quality of emotional relationships and level of learning which takes place. Monty Williams, who was recently hired as head coach of the Phoenix Suns said, “Players want to know the guy who’s giving them direction and leadership really cares about them.”

Information is plentiful in today’s world, but true connection is scarce.

It’s what we do away from the x’s and o’s which really matters most. Athletes learn from the coaches they love.

Fear is not the answer to reaching today’s athletes. They don’t respond to brow-beating or extra laps. This doesn’t mean coaches can’t be tough and effective. Today’s kids also seek discipline and guidance. Great coaches are able to be tough and relational at the same time.

In the educational setting, many ed-reforms have been centered on relationship-building. Educators are starting to realize what Coach Frosty Westering stated so wisely long ago: “Athletes don’t care what you know until they know you care.”

Socio-emotional learning is how we reach today’s athletes.

Becoming the coach your athletes love

Here are five ways you can become the coach your athletes will love:

  1. Tell them about a mistake you learned from when you were their age.
  2. Host a team dinner and let them see you around your family.
  3. Meet individually with each athlete and discuss their future dreams and goals.
  4. Play a game that is not related to the sport you coach with them after practice one day.
  5. Purchase Lead ‘Em Up and begin taking them through our fun and dynamic exercises.

Are you new to Lead ‘Em Up?  We provide teams leadership drills and exercises they can use to turn their players into the leaders needed to win.  

Interested in giving it a try?  Sign-up to receive three FREE Lead ‘Em Up exercises by clicking HERE.