The Two Most Important Strategies to Remember When Communicating with Athletes After Competition

1.  Avoid venting your anger after a loss.  A well respected Division I head coach says that venting your anger is selfish.  “The only person it helps is the coach.”  Remember that most of the time your athletes feel just as badly as you do after a tough loss.  It is probably not very productive if you vent on them at that time.

2. Give yourself and your athletes some time to cool down after a frustrating loss.  By talking about it when emotions are high, you might say things that are unproductive.  I know several coaches who have a 24-hour “cooling down” period before they address any negatives.  If you can’t wait that long, you might find a time that is away from the competition site to address what happened in a more constructive manner.

Remember, coaching is a people business.  The most successful coaches are the ones who effectively communicate with the athletes they are trying to lead.