The cornerstone of any successful athletics team is trust. A lack of trust within a team can spill over and negatively affect the performance as a whole. Trust leads to strong team cohesion and supports the ability of the coach to be able to properly develop their athletes to reach their full potential both individually and as a team. Here are three ways that you can establish trust with all of the players on your team:
Good communication is the backbone of establishing trust with your players. It is important to find a method of communication that works for everyone on your team. When there are changes in the schedule, there is no need to call everybody, send a mass text. Mass texting makes it easier to communicate with your group in a short amount of time. It also encourages communication within the group because everyone is connected. Coaches should also create open channels of communication that encourage the athletes to give input without fear of reprimand.
Readily praising your players will go a long way in establishing trust and building a positive team culture within your group. As the leader of the team, it is the coach’s duty to build a culture with trust at the forefront of the values. One way that coaches can encourage this trust is to develop a system that equitably rewards the players for a job well done. It is vital that all players are built up. Focusing on just a few will erode the confidence in others as it negatively affects the trust within the team.
Get to Know Your Athletes
Making an effort to get to know your athletes away from the sport will pay big dividends as you work to build trust. A good goal to have is to plan a social outing for the team at least once per month. Even if you are just going out for ice cream after a game or practice, this time away from the focus of the competition will build trust and communication within your group. In addition to dedicated social time, be sure to make an effort to get to know the other interests of your players.
Being true to your word and being there for your players in all situations will all work to build trust. Team members that feel secure in their group and position on the team will continue to work hard for you.
If you want to learn more about how to be a good coach, download our managers’ guide!