Coaches: Building Trust in Kids
Building trust in kids is critical for coaches.
If coaches establish a close, trusting relationship with their players, the players are more likely to feel confident, supported, and open—all keys to learning and transferring sports skills to life.
In an inspiring interview with Thom Schauerman, varsity soccer coach and middle school volleyball coach at The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (and the father of two young athletes) we learned some great ideas about how coaches can build trust in their players.
“There’s a lot of life lessons kids can take from sports. But first they need to know you (as coach) are an honest person and communicating effectively,” he says.
Schauerman employs a number of unusual strategies for boosting kids’ trust in him.
For example, the kids do a lot of writing. He gives them scenarios and asks them to write about how they would respond to specific situations. For example, “You’re not getting enough playing time. How would you handle it?” he says.
He also holds many meetings during which he and the team talk openly and honestly about these types of issues and the team’s process for addressing them.
What’s more, together the team creates a team contract outlining the kids’ responsibilities and each member signs it.
“This helps build a sense of community and trust and involves negotiation,” he says.
Want to learn more about Schauerman’s great ideas?
At Kids’ Sports Psychology exclusive members can download his entire interview here. Don’t miss it!
Kids’ Sports Psychology
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