Communication is a two way road between players and coaches. All to often, I see coaches that give instruction and expect their players to just do what they say. With that players often times do not have a voice on the team. That being said, both need to be equal in terms of speaking, listening and responding during practices and games for things to go as planned.

The job of a coach is rather tough, they must provide instruction to their players and work to get the most out of them at practice and in games. All of coaches believe that they know everything or have nothing left to learn, their way is the only way. They provide instruction at practice and games and expect everything to be executed. The issue with this though is that all players learn and progress differently. A coach needs to not only learn how to communicate what they want their players to do, but they must also learn multiple different ways to explain and teach it. This is because their job doesn’t end when they explain something, they must also listen to their players to learn whether or not their players understand what they expect of them. If a coach fails to listen to their players not only will not all of their players understand what is expected, but they might also miss other things such as the moods of their players (whether or not they are ready to practice or if something is potentially wrong) or if there is maybe something else that they should be working on at that particular point in time.

A coach must be as equally receptive to their players as they expect their players to be to them. Not only will this allow for a better learning environment, it will also build a level of trust between coaches and players.

The players must listen with intent to learn. It isn’t enough to be present, they must focus entirely on what the coach is asking them to do. Players also can’t be afraid to speak up if they don’t understand something. If you are at practice and your coach gives an instruction you don’t understand say something so that you can have a better understanding and you can learn what the coach wants. Same thing with a game, speak up if you don’t understand the game plan or tactical change.

By allowing your players to speak up when they don’t understand something a coach will get more out of them, build a level of trust and help them understand. By speaking up for themselves a player will help their coaches understand how to help them learn and understand better. If you fail at one, you fail at both, if you fail at both it will be very difficult to find success.