Communication is an essential part of the complete team mechanic. If you don’t tell your coach something important, they are not going to know. Coaches are not physic and can’t read your mind. Coaches also need to make sure the communication is a two-way street.
When coaches are interacting with players, they need to take advantage of every possible second they have. They need to guide the players, shape their playing styles, and guide them through their professional and personal lives any way possible. While a lot of people assume that coaches aren’t involved in personal lives, coaches are in a position of power and respect, no matter what level of play the league is at. The coach is in an ideal position to assist a player with issues that are private and sensitive. Coaches will respect privacy, and players should do the same. Keeping the gossip and such to a minimum will make things go a lot smoother.
When you get into semi-pro, and professional leagues, you will find that a lot of your privacy will be stripped away and that you will not enjoy the level of privacy that you had when you were in high school and other leagues. This will put a whole new level of pressure on player and coach, but as long as the player is open with the coach and doesn’t bottle things up, everything will be great.
Now what players need to understand is not everything will be perfect, and while the coach is there for a lot of situations, you have to remember that the coach has other players to deal with and that you cannot monopolize his time for trivial reasons that could be taken care of in other ways, and with other people.
Coaches also need to keep an eye on and off the court for problems, or on the positive side, for reasons to praise players. On occasion, a coach will see something that can be corrected by simply pulling a player aside and having a quick word, in the game a quick seat on the bench beside a player can correct on-court issues.
Players also need to use the coach for very positive and productive purposes. Instead of waiting for advice, seek it out. Go to the coach and ask for certain ways to better your practice and warm-up routines. Take advantage of the knowledge of your coaches, but also take advantage of your fellow players. Your team is one of your most important resources that you can tap when you are developing as a player and as a person in general. Never underestimate the tools and resources at your disposal.
Never let someone tell you what is best for you against your wishes. If you want to do something that is within reason, and that isn’t illegal, do it. Don’t let someone dictate your life for you against what you want to do. If you seek advice or guidance from someone it is just that; it’s up to you to choose what you want to do with it.
Photo credit: SD Dirk