The Importance of Communication
You can communicate without motivating but it is impossible to motivate without communicating.—John Thompson, former Georgetown University
It’s not what you tell them—it’s what they hear.
—Red Auerbach, former Boston Celtics championship coach
The Communication Process
Good communication skills are among the most important ingredients contributing to the performance enhancement and personal growth of sport and exercise participants.
Purposes of Communication
Note: All communication contains some content as well as relational (how we felt about the someone’s message) information
Types of Communication
Interpersonal communication (at least two persons in a meaningful exchange)
Intrapersonal communication (self-talk, the communication we have with ourselves)
Strategies for Improving Communication
Express empathy, not sympathy.
Use a communication style that is comfortable for you.
Learn how to become more empathetic by placing yourself in the shoes of your athletes or students.
Use the positive approach when communicating.
Always acknowledge the greetings of others.
Have an open-door policy for your students and athletes.
Be consistent in administering discipline.
Components of Teacher–Coach–Leader Communication
Signal endorsement, recognition, and acknowledgment to receiver
How clear the receiver perceives the teacher, leader, or coach
Barriers to Effective Communication
Receiver not paying attention to the sender
Lack of trust between the individuals attempting to communicate
Socialization and hereditary differences, causing misinterpretations between the sender and receiver
Differences in the mental set or perception between people
Embarrassment (creates interference)
Tendency to tell people what they want to hear
Difficulties in expression or reluctance to communicate
Belief that silence is safer
Inconsistency between actions and words
When to Use (or Avoid) Confrontation
Don’t confront someone when you are angry.
Do confront someone when you are in control, can express your feelings constructively, and have a well-thought-out reason for doing so.
Key Points to Recognize in Knowing How to Confront
1. All parties’ needs are legitimate and must be attended to.
2. There are enough resources to meet all needs.
3. Within every individual lies untapped power and capacity, and people in conflict know what they need.
4. Process is as important as content because it provides direction and focus.
5. Everyone is right from his or her own perspective.
6. Solutions and resolutions are temporary states of balance and are not absolute or timeless.
Dos and Don’ts of Confronting
Do convey that you value your relationship with the person.
Do go slowly and think about what you want to communicate.
Do try to understand the other person’s position.
Do listen carefully to what the other person is trying to communicate.
Dos and Don’ts of Confronting
Don’t communicate the solution. Rather, focus on the problem.
Don’t stop communicating.
Don’t use put-downs.
Don’t rely on nonverbal hints to communicate your thoughts.
Key Factors Involved in the
Closeness—the emotional tone that coaches and athletes experience. Terms such as liking, trust, and respect indicate the level of closeness.
Co-orientation—a common frame of reference, namely shared goals, values, and expectations. Open communication facilitates the development of co-orientation.
Complementarity—interactions in which the coach and athlete are engaged. This reflects coaches’ and athletes’ acts of cooperation.
The Sandwich Approach
to Constructive Criticism
A positive statement
Steps of Constructive Criticism
Describe your feelings and take responsibility for your
Describe your thoughts about the action or event that
Describe the tangible reason why the behavior affects you.
Describe what you want done.