“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
At Halton Tennis Centre we have this phrase on little posters all around the club; the one in the picture above is on the back of the toilet door! I couldn’t get away from it if I tried, so it’s a good thing that I believe in its message 100%. As a Coach, you could have the best knowledge in the world, but if the athlete doesn’t believe that you care about them, they will not listen to what you have to say and why would they…?! Coaching, Strength and Conditioning Coaching included, is about relating to the athlete, developing that relationship. I hope that the athletes I train know that I am interested in their development, not just as an athlete, but also as a person. Because they understand this, they also know that I am only ever going to ask them to do something that I believe will benefit them as an athlete.
I encourage the players to stay in touch with me when they are at tournaments (unfortunately I don’t get to go in person as often as I would like), out of a genuine interest in how they are getting on and so that I might offer them a word of encouragement, or congratulation, or commiseration!
That said, once your caring is beyond doubt, you’ve also got to have a bit of knowledge to back it up too!!