Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Doc Rivers On Bonding with Players

Share This Resource

Doc Rivers (@DocRivers) is the Head Coach for the Milwaukee Bucks and a PCA National Advisory Board Member. He had a stellar playing career with Marquette University and several NBA teams before moving on to coach the Orlando Magic and then the Celtics, whom he led to the 2008 NBA Championship. Rivers is also a prominent sports parent, most notably as father of Austin Rivers, who played at Duke University before joining the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

Rivers believes that a coach-player bond is vital to a team’s success, as he discusses in this clip. There must be an emotional connection to each player for the coach to be most effective. This starts with giving and earning respect. Coaches can do this by being honest and credible with their feedback. If players know you are giving sound advice and helping them get better, they will respect your role.

It’s also important for players to know how important they are to you as the coach. Athletes are working hard to master their sports, and if a coach doesn’t acknowledge this, then an athlete will be less motivated to work for that coach.