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Seeking Feedback from Athletes

Updated: May 8

As a coach, it is crucial to be open to hearing what your players have to say. While seeking advice from mentors and fellow coaches is common, it is equally important to understand how your athletes accurately receive your instruction. Are you asking them for feedback?

In Proverbs 1:5, it is stated that a wise person listens and increases in learning. This wisdom can be applied to coaching as well. By asking questions about practice session quality and the scope of improvement, coaches can gain valuable insights into their athletes' needs and development areas.

Additionally, understanding the communication and learning styles of individual players is essential. Each athlete may process information differently, requiring tailored teaching methods. For example, I had a middle blocker on my team who is a visual learner. I needed to demonstrate and provide feedback repeatedly until she grasped the concept. On the other hand, another middle blocker responds well to short verbal cues as reminders.

In addition to seeking feedback from the entire team, I implemented a system with a designated "Coach Captain" who provided me with valuable feedback on my verbal language, body language, and motivational tactics. This allowed me to continuously improve my coaching approach and ensured that I effectively communicated and motivated my athletes. By creating a culture of open feedback, we foster an environment where everyone's voices are heard and respected, leading to a stronger and more united team.

It's important to acknowledge that coaches and athletes may not always see things from the same perspective, given the age and experience differences. However, establishing open lines of communication is crucial. Building relationships and understanding each other's viewpoints is a learning curve for everyone involved in a team. Only when there is mutual understanding can coaches and athletes truly support and fight for each other.

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