unnamedPART TWO: Building Respect: 

1/ set clear expectations – when expectations are not communicated, clarified and agreed upon, it leaves everyone frustrated, disappointed and even angry. Communicate what you expect at training and on game day, and never assume, “they should just know”. Lead them. When your expectations of them, and visa versa, are communicated, clarified and aged upon it creates and great culture of peer accountability. You’ll find the players stepping up, and holding each other accountable as well.

2/ develop team values and define success – define what is important to the team; what are the non negotiable values you want to hold onto and what does success mean to the team. Success is always more than winning games. Create some agreed objectives, values and goals to work on together. As the coach you now have a great framework to build discipline, culture and commitment.

3/ praise publicly, criticize privately – nothing will dampen the heart and spirit of a young player more than pubic negative and harsh criticism. A few years back one of my sons coaches brutally rated the players performance after the game in the change room. He would say, “Johny you were crap today and it’s a 2/10 for you.” He was coaching out of his own frustration and bullying the kids into submission. Thankfully, he didn’t last as the coach. It’s totally ok for a coach to discipline or correct or critique a player, that’s part of the role of development, but there is a way to do it that empowers and motivates.

A coach needs both “Rapport and Respect” to build great culture, team spirit and effective development for their team. Some coaches naturally build rapport, being well liked by their team, because they are fun, a friend and just one of the gang. Without also building respect, issues of discipline, commitment and unspoken expectations can create a frustrating environment, impacting on results, culture and development in negative ways.
Some coaches naturally cultivate respect, making it clear who is in charge, what’s expected and the cost of stepping out of line. Without also building rapport they can demand, command and rebuke, punishing players for not aligning to the rules and expectations of the coach. This creates fear and intimidation, and will harm and impact culture, spirit and team development in negative ways.
Brett White
BBFC player & coach development
Founder – Be Leadership / Sports MindSHiFT

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