Good sports coaching communication skills are vital to the success of your business.
When you are coaching any sport, communication is essential. It doesn't matter if it's tennis, football, baseball, basketball, netball, golf, gymnastics, badminton, athletics, hockey, cricket......the list is endless. The better you are at communicating and specifically speaking clearly the more popular and successful you will be and the more confident and successful your pupils will be.
Usually when we have to teach people, they are sitting still, able to concentrate fully on what the teacher is saying. The teacher is also able to sit or stand still, perhaps sitting at a desk with all of their notes or standing at a whiteboard able to reinforce ideas with written words.
Sports coaches do not have these luxuries, they have to teach in the middle of a field or a large sports hall with no chairs or whiteboards, to students who are moving around and who are being distracted by anything and everything. If you are teaching outside the wind can blow your voice away or if in a large hall the echo can swallow up your words. These sports coaches need to have exceptional communication skills if they are to produce first class athletes.
I have written articles for various sports publications around the world including 'Tennis Pro' and the International Tennis Federation Coaching and Sport Science Review.
As a voice coach it became apparent to me that ‘good’ coaches (described as such, not only by me but by other parents), were the sports coaches who were able to communicate their love of their activity and their skill, be it dancing or tennis, to the student. They managed to get the best out of every student. These coaches were not always the best qualified but they had the ability to explain and to listen.
What do you, as a coach, do when you are working? You’ll probably answer ‘teach tennis’ or 'coach basketball' etc. Obviously this is true, but if you stop and think about it, the majority of your time is spent, not playing your sport, but communicating with people. Sports coaches communicate all the time.
You don’t work in an office where you see only a few work colleagues every week. You are continually meeting different people of all ages and of all abilities.
You have to speak to parents, children, school teachers, head teachers, managers, receptionists, businesses and adult learners to name a few and amongst this list are the young, old, agile, not so agile, polite people, funny people, argumentative people and easy going people.
Communicating with children involves different skills than communicating with adults. Children are not as experienced as adults at guessing what we mean and they can take things very literally.
Articulation is the art of speaking and involves the study of the muscles we use for speech. Most cases of bad articulation are caused, not by design, but simply by laziness. We know what we are saying so we expect other people to know what we mean. We just can’t be bothered to use our mouths. Look at the following example: suppose you are serving in tennis, the ball hits the net because you were too lazy to stretch your arm up would you then expect to win the point because you knew where you wanted the ball to go. It would be ludicrous but the principle is the same. There is no reason why people should know in advance what you are going to say, therefore you must speak clearly and use your facial muscles to produce good clear speech.
Go from Sports Coaching Communication to Sports Communication for more helpful tips