Courtesy of Lauren Farer.

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Coaches

Is your coach a drill sergeant? Or does he or she encourage and motivate your team? The Matador Messenger brings you the fourth article in the “How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship” series with coaches.

The Most common reasons teens might have conflicts with a coach are that the player may believe they are better than how the coaches see them. For instance, the player may feel he should start when the coach doesn’t feel that the player is in the top five,” explained Mark Hill, Esperanza High School Physical Education teacher and head basketball coach.

In the United States approximately 36,250,000 children and teens ages 5-18 play organized sports each year and 2,207,000 play high school sports, according to a survey conducted by Youth Sports Statistics March 16,  2017. With a total of 38,457,000 teens and children playing sports, the relationship with your coach may be the most important adult relationship you will ever have.

“My advice for a teen who wants to improve their relationship with a coach is #1: live up to whatever standards the coach has set for his players. Our motto is ‘Quest to be the Best’ and we talk about work ethic, discipline and coachability as the standards to help us achieve that goal of being the best we can be,” advised Mark Hill.

According to a Monkey Survey of 100 BYMS participants, 56% said their teammates occasionally have conflicts, and 6% indicated that their teammates frequently have conflicts with the coach.

Out of the 100 total participants, 61% of respondents indicated they have conflicts with their coach, for several reasons  that include 18% not understanding what’s being said,  13% not agreeing with the coaching method,  9% not listening, and 14% have conflicts with their coach because of all of these. Furthermore, 7% indicated that they have conflicts for other reasons.

“Generally conflict comes from a lack of communication, or communication in a way that is not conducive to learning.  It can also come from a mindset from coach or player that there is only one right way to do things and that they always know best,” explained Sarah Barton, BYMS Physical Education teacher.

Be communicative. If a teen has a question then ask respectfully what he/she would like to know. Don’t be afraid to ask what they need to improve on or do better at,” explained Mark Hill.

“I would say that conflict arises when there is a lack of respect for a coach. To maintain a healthy relationship with a coach, athletes must respect their coach, even if they don’t always agree on their coaching style or the decisions they make,” explained the Athletic Clerk for Esperanza High School, a former athlete, and a mother of two athletes, Cynthia Connally.

“Communication is key.  Often times athletes will let their frustrations brew into something that is way bigger than it ever needed to be.  Communicating questions or concerns to a coach, rather than just assuming things are the way they are is the best way to keep a coach-player relationship healthy,” added Barton.

Survey participants also explained how they show respect for their coach. Several of these reasons include listening and following directions (18%), doing their best (8%),  being open to suggestions by the coach (3%), all of these (67%), and others show respect for their coach in other ways (4%).

“There are many ways to show respect for a coach: 1) Listening and maintaining eye contact when your coach is talking; 2) following directions; 3) being open to your coach’s suggestions on ways to improve performance; 4) hustling at all times; and 5) showing pride that you are part of a team,” Connally explained.

“If these five steps are followed, an athlete will experience a healthy relationship with their coach. These same “rules” for maintaining a healthy relationship can apply to teachers, parents, and future bosses,” added Connally.