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The Importance of the Player & Coach Relationship

It can be easy to overlook the value of the coach and player relationship, especially with younger athletes. They’re just learning how to play, as long as the coach is showing up and teaching them that’s all that matters, right? The truth is, how the coaches show up for their athletes plays a huge role in the formation of not only the athlete’s physical skills, but in their mental and emotional growth as well.

While there are many ways in which a coach can influence a player, the overarching thought is that a effective coach will lead with empathy, open communication, and positive reinforcement. In this brand of coaching, there are several areas that are fostered which are vital to building strong relationships throughout life.


When a player can trust their coach, they are less likely to recent decisions like playing time and the filling of positions. Beyond the playing field, learning how to trust other is an important relationship skill. Note that it does not say blind trust! Players and coaches can have open communication where a player can ask questions and clarification, but ultimately know that the trust they have for their coach should prevail.

Respect for Authority

In the same vein as open communication, learning how to communicate with coaches in a respectful and collaborative way is beneficial throughout life. If a player doesn’t respect a coach enough to know when is an appropriate time to discuss an issue, or to take criticism effectively, it makes learning to work with other authority figures throughout their life.


Coaching both individuals athletes and then each as a team is a challenge most coaches face. When there is a strong coach and player relationship, athletes are more likely to play well as a team because the important element of a strong leader of the team is in place. When every player trusts their coach, it’s easier to trust their teammates.


It is said that empathy – or the “ability to put oneself in another person’s place” – is one of the hardest emotions to teach. When the coach and player relationship is built on empathy, there is a level of understanding and confidence that is fostered. And those two aspects support the growth of a healthy and meaningful relationship.

The AYB Difference

At Arcadia Youth Basketball, we take the coaching side of basketball very seriously. We believe that the best way for young athletes to learn is through the guidance of professional coaches. Our specially trained coaches offer each player consistent, fun, and high quality athletic education. This allows each player to grow at their own pace with dependable support from their coach.


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