090: What If I Don't Trust My Coach? Strategies for Athletes and Coaches

All Relationships Move at the Speed of Trust

I've witnessed the crucial role trust plays in the coach-athlete relationship. It's more than just a professional bond, it's foundational for performance. But how do we strike the right balance? How do we create a relationship that is both professional and performance-based? In this episode of Brain in the game, we delve into the dynamics at play. We discuss:

  • Why the athlete's role goes beyond merely following instructions and performing.
  • What happens when athletes make emotional decisions to defy their coach. 
  • How doubts in the coach's guidance can lead to a breakdown in trust.
  • Under pressure, the one thing athletes must rely on, and if not developed, it can undermine performance. 
  • As a coach, why effective communication is pivotal
  • What it looks like to foster a culture of understanding that doesn't compromise your authority as a coach; it strengthens it.
  • How coaches can establish trust with their athletes - It's not what you might expect! 

Trust and Collaboration: The Key to Success

To illustrate the importance of trust and communication, I often use blindfolded rock climbing as an exercise: https://youtu.be/_fLLvOIkNxU. It helps athletes build internal referencing, trust their own process, and develop effective listening skills while asking the right questions. These skills parallel the coach-athlete dynamic, where athletes should trust their coach's information and engage in productive dialogue.

Liking your coach isn't a prerequisite for success, but trusting their guidance is.






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