Coach Loren Johnson gathers the athletes at Highland Springs (Photo: Brandon Mitchell/recruit804)
Lew Johnston talks about the role of a coach in the lives of his athletes
Taken from Lew Johnston’s blog “Coaching the little things”
by Lew Johnston, a special contribution to recruit757
I don’t recall who sent it to me but I was watching Coach Scott Frost of the University of Nebraska speaking to a group of people. He stated how important being an effective communicator is when you are a coach.
Taking what he said, I started brainstorming and the following things are, what I believe, are the KEYS to being an effective communicator. They are:
Be CLEAR. You must speak to your audience (whether it’s your players, coaches, parents or administrators) in such a manner that what you are saying is being understood. Using good grammar, proper pronunciation and volume control all help you make your point clearly.
Be CONCISE. I always cringe when I hear a public speaker who doesn’t know when… or how to stop! Some, I know, just like to hear themselves speak! Others simply do not prepare properly and they don’t know how to draw a conclusion. They repeat themselves and lose their audience and fail to make their point because they ramble. Say what you’re going to say and stop!!!
Be COMPETENT. You will gain nothing by “spouting off” on a subject when you are clearly in error with what you are stating. Know your subject matter before you get up to speak. If someone poses a question to you that you do not know the answer to, DON’T try to come across as a “know-it-all” (cuz nobody IS!)
I heard someone say that the best thing you can do at that point is to say, “I’m not sure about what you’ve just asked. Let me check and get back to you on that.” Then, do your due diligence and… get back to them! You’ll gain a lot more credibility that way than to say something that later comes back to bite you in the butt.
Be CONVINCING. You’ve probably heard the old axiom, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all!”
True! But, in what I’m sharing, I want to massage that saying. Try this: “If you can’t share something with enthusiasm, don’t say nuthin’ at all!”
Is there anything worse than a boring speech? “I’d rather watch the grass grow… or watch paint dry than listen to this guy!” Ever said one of those? I have.
I recall that I invited a former coach to come speak to our team before a championship game. My hope was that he would “fire up” the guys before we took the field. His delivery was so… well, there’s no other way to say it: so boring that the players were just about to fall asleep in their chairs. This was just before we were to leave the locker room. Wow! If you believe in something, then present your idea in as convincing a manner as possible. You don’t need to scream and yell; but, you do need to speak in a way that captures the emotions of your audience.
Whenever you have to speak in front of a group, prepare what you’re going to say. Carry some notes or an outline or check list— something to keep you on track. Then, follow the 4 guidelines that I’ve shared with you and you’ll find that you’ll be an effective communicator. ***See how nicely I closed that???!!! LOL
– Lew Johnston