Players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
- Pat Summitt
I think this one shines true across the board.
As coaches, it doesn’t matter if you are the mom-coach or dad-coach on a little league team, or the greatest coach to ever coach professional sports.
If athletes don’t know you care about them, they won’t trust you and won’t give it their all for you.
Spend time getting to know each athlete personally. For example, a little league coach can take time out of each practice to get to know an athlete.
This relationship is reciprocal, if a coach doesn’t think an athlete cares about them, a coach is less likely to trust an athlete in a game and less likely to want to coach or give that athlete advice.
As a teammate, friendship is the sweetest influence. If your teammates only see you as the person that yells at them when they do something wrong or if you are always giving advice, your teammates won’t respect you enough to listen.
Build those friendships first and focus your comments on the positive things that your teammates are doing on and off the field.
Unconditional love as a parent. As it relates to sports, parents just need to be the biggest cheerleader and shoulder to cry on.
Be the parent that loves to just watch them play! And, be there to listen versus dole out advice. Let your child take ownership of his/her sport(s) and see their confidence grow.
In the end, love, respect, and trust aren’t earned unless you care.