5 Key Communication Tips for Coaches

January 29, 2018
By Alexander Ketrzynski

In volleyball, communication is arguably as important a skill as any of the physical aspects of the sport. For coaches, difficulty in communicating with players may severely undermine all other coaching skills and experience. The article, “5 Key Communication Tips for Coaches,” developed by the Hardwood Hustle podcast in conjunction with TeamSnap, provides five useful suggestions for any coach looking to improve communication skills with players.

The article’s second suggestion especially resonated with me:

“Make sure you are always communicating in your audience’s language. You may need to get right to the point or even slow down, or dive deeply into the ‘why’ behind what you are communicating. Take time to understand their language, and you will be better able to communicate your message.”

In my own coaching activities, I’ve learned that different approaches are necessary with different players, and I’ve seen the beneficial results of being able to effectively deliver my message. I’ve also watched as other coaches effectively delivered a message on first try that I had been unsuccessfully trying to convey for some time.
I understand what I am attempting to explain, but if I’m not able to get an idea across to the individual in a manner they are able to assimilate then I’m wasting time—the player’s, the team’s, and my own.

For more useful advice on communicating with your players, the entire article may be found here.

Alexander Ketrzynski is currently an assistant coach with the Pakmen 17U Boys’ Volleyball Team, and father of three sons who are also passionate about the game.
He was a member of the 1984 Canadian Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team.