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What Athletes Want Communicated From Their Coach

What would you like communicated from your coach?

How do you want this communicated?

47% of athletes want coaches to evaluate their performance. They want to learn about their:

  • Strengths – what I’m good at or doing well
  • Weaknesses – what I need to work on or improve on and how to improve it
    • Author’s Note: Interestingly, many responses didn’t include the word “weakness.” Instead it was phrased “what I should work on.” Perhaps consider avoiding the team “weakness” and instead use “areas to improve or develop”
  • Progress throughout the season
  • Current performance – how I’m playing

Other common themes:

When I need to be corrected. Several individuals want their coaches to be transparent and let them know when something needs to be changed.

  • “If there is a need to tell me I am doing something wrong, just tell me.”

A few individuals commented they wanted this to be brief and without much follow-through from the coach:

  • “If I’m doing something wrong…I just need to know how to better myself and once you have told me how to do it let me figure it out for myself.”


  • What each player’s job is – where he sees each person on the team
  • What each person brings to the team
  • How each player is equally as important as everyone else.

Plan for the team. This ranged from:

  • A specific focus to game strategy for an individual game
  • Direction for the season – a clear plan for where the team is heading
  • Goals the coach has set for individual players and goals coach has set for him/herself
  • Expectations for players and coaches


  • Daily checkups
    • “Ask about me personally and if I need any help”

By what means?

  • 84% of athletes reported they preferred communication in-person.
  • 41% stated they liked texting, but several indicated specific situations where texting was appropriate (i.e. change in practice schedule).
  • 16% stated any communication was valued
  • 9% email
  • 9% social media
  • 9% phone call

Several athletes identified in-person being the best form of communication as text or emails can easily be misinterpreted.


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