How to lose a player in one day – A coaches warning-
By Sarah Stone WTCA Founder and Vice-President
It can happen in a moment. The coach thinks everything is going perfectly but when a player is left in tears it’s not a good sign. Coaches can lose a player in one day. Once the trust is gone the relationship will crumble. Although all players are different here are a few scenarios that could spell the end in your coaching relationship.
1. Change the players entire technique in the first lesson. A players confidence is extremely important. Coaches might find themselves in situations where every stroke needs technical work. Be sure to work on strengths followed by weaknesses and finish with strengths. It can only takes a moment for a player to lose there confidence and sometimes years to get it back. Tread carefully with technical changes and take your time!
2. The Reality Check. When they tell you their goals such as playing professionally or reaching the top one hundred, empower them. What are coaches really achieving by giving players their version of a “reality check”? Nothing. As coaches it is not our obligation to shut down people’s goals. In certain situations a player’s goals might be quite unrealistic, however, it’s critical that coaches handle this situation carefully. Use empowering language – an example is to suggest to a young player that you believe they need to reach the top 150 in the world before declining a colleges scholarship and pursuing a professional career. When a player states they want to reach the top 100 in the world ask them are they prepared to make the sacrifices and do everything it takes in order to get there.
Many coaches have been made to look quite the fool when players went on to defy those very coaches that said they were kidding themselves. Keep it positive and supportive – in reality nobody can say for sure what a player is capable of achieving.
3. Venting to the Wrong Crowd. Engaging in conversation with her friends or your colleagues, telling them how terribly she is playing and that you think you might just about be done working with her is a terrible idea. Coaching is a challenging career. Venting ones frustrations can help coaches to see things from a different perspective or let go of negative energy. This is completely normal but don’t vent to your players support system – find a neutral person in whom you trust.
4. The Witty Sarcasm. Coaches and support teams take note – the majority of female players DO NOT like sarcasm. Any line that is a put down followed up by “I was just joking” has no place in coaching. A coach’s job is to support, motivate, empower and inspire, not to take cheap shots. The most successful coaching relationship usually have a couple of things in common. A. The players really enjoys spending time with the coach. B. There is a mutual respect between player and coach. C. It stands the test of time.
Coaches listen carefully to you player, in the end they are your boss. Keep open lines of communication and work with them in a way that they learn best. Not every coaching relationship is meant to be, but by following these simple pieces of advice will likely help ensure you don’t suddenly lose your player in one day.