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Fundamental Soccer Blog

Remain Firm/Act Fair

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. 

Dr. Alan Goldberg

Dr. Goldberg was the sport psychology consultant to the 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champion University of Connecticut Huskies, and the 2000 men’s soccer NCAA champions. He is the former Sports Psychology Consultant for the University of Connecticut Athletic Department and continues to work with their men’s soccer program. He draws from 25+ years of experiences working with athletes and teams of all ages and levels to help you develop motivation and achieve peak performance, no matter at what level you compete! Learn more about Dr. Alan Goldberg at Competitive Advantage.