In 2015, I went into the season with a goal to be great at connecting with the players and I came up with a communication plan.
Halfway through the season, I sent out a survey to the team asking, “what is one thing the coaching staff is doing well that you would like to see us continue?”. The overwhelming answer was, “communication”. I immediately felt validated that the plan was working.
I also asked the question, “what is one thing you would like to see the coaching staff do more of?”. The overwhelming answer was, again, “communication”.
This was a breakthrough moment for me. It was clear that we were doing good work with our communication and connecting with our athletes, but they were starving for more.
I’ve learned that in the absence of communication, people will make up their own version of the story and is usually isn’t positive or accurate.
It’s very easy to go weeks without connecting one-to-one with an athlete on your team. This is damaging because people need to be seen and appreciated if you want to get the best out of them. The gap in communication degrades the connection between athlete and coach/program and leaves room for negative or inaccurate thoughts.
It helps to create a plan for how and when you will communicate with individuals on your team. Part of the plan should include space for unplanned interaction. The moments of everyday living inside the environment of your team shapes the culture and feelings of belonging that helps drive motivation.
Don’t let your players fill the gap left by lack of communication. Fill their proverbial cup with consistent communication.
In the Coaching Project podcast, I have an on-going series, titled “Extreme Ownership” in which I partner with Performance Coach Dr. Gary Bowman. We take the book, written by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin and apply it to high performance coaching.
In our episode, titled, “Buy In and Trust,” we go into detail about how communication can improve your organizational performance. I hope you enjoy it.
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