You can usually tell when Mark from At Home on the Court isn’t currently coaching because he post about all kinds of interesting stuff he finds, like the one I spoke about in a prior post. Here’s another one he came across on the subject of emotional intelligence, this time from the New York Times.
Basically, we’re talking here about four primary areas of focus: self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and relationship skills. Let me take on each individually.
This is about understanding your own strengths and weaknesses. In a team context – being a player or as a member of a coaching staff – that factors in to knowing how to work with others to maximize collective effectiveness.
Also in this category is having a good emotional insight. In other words, you understand your feelings and know what can trigger them – anger being a prime example.
This includes resilience, emotional balance, and self-motivation. A lot of this has to do with handling adversity and overcoming setbacks. These are things we hope to see (or develop) in our players. We must be good models for them. Emotional balance in particular speaks to not allowing negative outcomes to cause negative emotional reactions – like yelling at your team for losing a match.
Here the focus is on being a good listener and being able to view things from other people’s perspectives. Part of this relates to being able to deal with people as they are, which was the topic of Episode 18 of the Volleyball Coaching Wizards Podcast. Another part is being able to read someone’s feelings for more effective communication. A third is taking in what others are saying and not trying to make things about you or your views.
This covers two main concepts. One is being able to be persuasive and clear in your communications. Legendary coach Julio Velasco has described coaching as selling. You are trying to sell the players on what you want them to do and where you want them to go. In order to do that, you need to communicate with them clearly and persuasively.
The other primary concept in this area is being able to work with others. In this instance, however, the focus is on how people feel around you. Are they relaxed? If so, it’s more likely you’ll be able to work effectively with them.
How’s your emotional intelligence?
I know mine has gotten much better over the years. Could still use some work in places, though.
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