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Getting Players To Communicate

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"Any tips on how I can coach players to better communicate during games?"

PCA Response By David Jacobson, PCA Trainer & Senior Marketing Communications and Content Manager
Players often resist taking charge vocally, whether from shyness or fear of making an incorrect call. However, the possibility of overcoming shyness through a desire to contribute to team success is a tremendous opportunity for personal growth through sports. Likewise, it is important for youth athletes to get past the fear of making mistakes.

The fear of making a communications mistake -- where a player may shout the wrong instruction to a teammate -- may be even more daunting than the fear of making a physical mistake. It’s one thing to trip and fall while performing a difficult physical task, and quite another to loudly call attention to oneself and risk the embarrassment of an obvious mental mistake…especially a mistake that likely would cause a teammate’s mistake.

Considering those circumstances, along with the normal communications awkwardness of teens and “tweens,” it is no wonder many players clam up rather than communicating. One solution is to drill communication just as you drill anything else. And remember that in youth sports, as in later life, "what gets rewarded gets done." For example, here is a way to drill and reward communication on a softball team.... (download the pdf below for this example and the rest of the PCA commentary.)

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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