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Coach-Athlete Relationship

By: Mihir Lohiya and Vedant

A team’s success is measured by its season record, overall amount of victories. But this is not a major part of success. This is a combination of players efforts, coaches and managing staff efforts on and off the field. Also, it all depends on a strong coach-athlete relationship. Other than looking after a whole team coach should have an interpersonal relationship with the athletes at an individual level. Coaches who focus on positive, personal relationship with their athletes are ensuring success beyond their record on the field.

A good relationship is a foundation of coaching it is a two way connection between the coach and the athlete. The coaches should pursue real relationship with the athletes. Coach has a place of respect and authority, but still the athlete should feel open to express his thoughts and views to the coach and see him/her as a role model or mentor. So, a strong coach-athlete relationship is not only for the athlete’s growth as a ethical, strong, focused person but also for the overall team’s performance.


Coaches who value and focus on effective, personal relationships which their athletes are guaranteed benefits of wins and scores because they will have helped to influence positive moral and ethical behaviours. Strong relationship can develop young athletes into a better player as well as a better person. Positivity and honesty are the effective skills of a coach. To connect to an athlete a coach should be empathetic and understanding. They must respect the athlete’s views and thoughts and accept them. This approachable attitude of a coach will attract players and help build a strong positive relationship.

So, to build a positive and approachable environment around coaches can follow some simple methods like inviting the team for a meal or some fun activities on weekend. This help the athletes to feel free and open up to their mentor and this can create a positive bond between the coach and athlete. Other method is to promote an open door policy for the athletes. So after on field session the athlete can go and meet his/her mentor and express their thoughts regarding their game and which can help them built a good relation with the coach also the coach can help the athlete too in his own possible ways. Co-orientation and complementarity are often referred to as important constructs within positive coach athlete relationship.


Athletes prefer coaches who communicate with them beyond the sporting environment. This shouldn’t be a bond of friendship the respect and ethics should be maintained. Athletes demand for coaches with greater sense of empathy and understanding so they can understand their situations of lives better. An athlete’s lives include schooling, family, work etc. and showcasing a sense of care by the coach helps to nurture a strong coach-athlete relationship. This creates a positive bond in both of them and this helps the coach to convey his thoughts to the athlete.


Coach should check-in with their athletes from time-to-time to ensure how they feel about your coaching approach. The coach should approach athletes with a democratic coaching style where he gives his inputs and also the athletes can share their inputs to set goals and make plans for the training. The coaches can check-in by doing some brief chats in a relaxed setting. This can help athlete know better about his game and help coach to nurture his athlete with a better understanding.

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