by Dr. Alan Goldberg
Keep in mind that an important corollary of nurturing and encouraging your athletes by listening to their concerns, feedback and criticism is to remain firm. Do not allow your behaviors to be governed by whether your players like you or not. Coaching should never be a popularity contest. Trying to please all of your athletes will quickly turn you into an indecisive, ineffective coach. Weigh your athletes’ suggestions but always hold on to your own values and clearly communicate your team’s purpose. Do not confuse serving your athletes with being a slave to them. Just because some of your athletes may have criticisms of your program does not mean that you necessarily need to dramatically alter what you are doing. Along these same lines, it is absolutely necessary that you maintain an air of fairness in your interactions with your players. Showing favoritism does not create an atmosphere of safety or service and will ultimately sabotage your best coaching efforts.