Here’s a quote from the book The Brain Always Wins.

Sometimes we influence ourselves and those around us in ways we don’t mean to. We misinterpret what we hear or see. We create an emotional response we don’t intend. We hamper or limit performance when we meant to develop it. Sometimes we are reminded that it’s a complicated thing, this communication process. It’s pretty much non-stop and its nature and content can shift in an instant.

Give that some thought. It absolutely relates to ourselves as coaches interacting with our players and peers. As such, it’s something we must always be conscious of in our communication.

Importantly, it’s also something we must teach our players about. They oftentimes don’t realize how others interpret and/or react to what they say and do. This is especially true for younger athletes.

It doesn’t necessarily end there, though. Over the years, I’ve had several older (college aged) players who lacked awareness of how their emotional state, body language, etc. impacted others.

Of course, this works in both directions. It can be positive or negative, so our job as coaches, is to teach players to create more of the former and less of the latter.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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