A coach's worst nightmare. You have all the talent you need to make a successful team, but player personalities start clashing and the chemistry kills the skill. Knowing how to manage different personalities as a coach is essential into building a great team. It can be the most difficult part of coaching by far, and takes a ton of practice. Follow these guidelines to make sure every player you coach can benefit from your leadership!
1. Stay impartial
Staying impartial is a cornerstone on how to manage different personalities as a coach. Remember, the ultimate goal of any team is to win and there are many different ways to achieve this goal. You and your player are both here to win, as a coach it is your job to be open minded and always maintain a neutral position so you can speak objectively to any issue that arises. When you establish yourself as an impartial party, even your most opinionated players will hear you out.
2. Understand when to give space
People deal with issues in many different ways. When having difficulty learning a new skill or just having a bad day, some players will just need some space to themselves in order to calm down and regroup. Being too hands-on with these types of players can cause them to lash out without intending to.
3. Understand who needs a little extra attention
Inversely to number two, some players desire a more hands-on approach. A lot of the time players will want constant feedback on their performance. It is not an issue of insecurity, it is simply how some people feel they improve the best. With these types of players, you'll need to give a lot of positive reinforcement as well as carefully constructed criticism when they are not doing things correctly. Either way, these types of players appreciate lots of vocal feedback.
4. Try to connect on some level with each player
Having common ground with a player can be huge in getting the communication gap bridged. It does not have to be volleyball related, it can be anything that you to share a common interest or even dislike in. Once you establish some commonality, it helps move you from a stranger to at least an acquaintance. This is especially helpful for quiet or reserved players who do not talk too much.
5. Set clear conduct expectations and follow through
There is a common saying among camp counselors that you do not want to be a "gonna" counselor. This works in both positive and negative situations, and for coaching as well. When you set clear expectations, followed by consequences/rewards for these expectations, you need to follow through with what you say. If a player continues to be stubborn or dismissive to coaching or to the team, you need to act accordingly to expectations you set at the beginning of the season. Whether it is reduced or no playing time, sticking to your guns will ensure everything you say as a coach has validity in the players' minds. Same goes for positive conduct, you should definitely remember to reward players for exemplifying the qualities you set for the team to achieve.
Following these 5 basic guidelines should help with how to manage different personalities as a coach. Just like playing, you need to practice these skills in order to be effective! Especially with communication and leadership issues, attending coaching clinics regularly will help to make sure you can tackle these issues right as the season starts. Don't waste any time, sign up for our coaching clinics now!