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Saturday, January 30, 2010

IMPROVING YOUR TEAM'S COMMUNICATION

Another great article from Jeff Janssen's "Championship Coaches Network." If you don't have this website bookmarked, you are missing out on quality information that can help you as a coach help your team...and that includes the premium service he provides for which I subscrible to. In this article, Jeff talks about the importance of teams talking and why the don't do it more often. More importantly he gives 12 techniques to help you improve:

Seems like many of them can chat for hours on their cell phones, or talk non-stop before, (during), and after practice about the latest happenings, gossip, movies, YouTube clips, and other trivial matters off the field/court/track.

So why then is it so hard to get them to talk to their teammates during practices and competition to share highly relevant and critical performance-related information?

Sadly, many games have been lost simply because of a lack of communication between teammates. Getting athletes, and especially leaders, to be more vocal on the court and field is a challenging and ongoing problem for many coaches.

Further, you absolutely need certain athletes at specific positions like point guard, catcher, setter, and quarterback to be vocal for your team to be successful.

One of our primary goals with our Leadership Academies is to develop athletes into strong, effective, and vocal leaders. As 21-time national champion North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance says, "The best type of leadership to me is the student-athlete who is a coach on the field. I want a driving, verbal force who won't let standards slip. That's how teams with ordinary talent win championships."

So if your lone voice is the only one heard at your practices, you've got a problem. As Duke men's basketball Coach K says, "On our Duke Basketball teams, I never want to be the only communicator. In order for a message to get across, it must be echoed by every member of the group. I constantly look for the members of my team who can help convey the message."

We train emerging student-athlete leaders to be vocal in working with the coaches to co-lead the team. We want them leading vocally by setting the tone, reminding people about their responsibilities, reinforcing the positives, refocusing distracted teammates, calling out those who are falling below the team's standards, and being the voice in the locker room when the coach is not around. Getting them to this point though is often a process that takes time, training, practice, and coaching. Helping an athlete to find their voice takes time - but pays off in a multitude of ways for you and your program.

This article features 12 proven techniques you can use to help your athletes, and especially your leaders, become a more vocal presence for your team.

Click here to read the 12 techniques (must reading): http://bit.ly/avM6A1