PCA Development Zone®

Resource Center

Joe Dumars Explains the Importance of Coaches Connecting to their Players

PCA offers six online courses - all expert-developed and designed to help coaches, parents, athletes and officials ensure that winning happens both on and off the field in youth sports.
Take A Course »

Share This Resource

Joe Dumars is a former NBA Executive and All-Star player for the Detroit Pistons. The NBA Sportsmanship Award is named the Joe Dumars Trophy, and in 2006 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

You will lose an athlete as a coach if you cannot connect to your players. In today’s world, the ‘do as I say’ mantra no longer works. You can still use that strategy, but you have to couple it with genuine connection for long-term results. If it’s just X’s and O’s and ‘do what I say’, you’re going to lose a player at some point.

Video Transcript: If you’re a coach, and you’re not finding a way to connect to your players, it’s going to have a short shelf life. At some point, you’re going to lose an athlete. And it can’t just be ‘do as I say’. Today’s world, this generation of young athletes are different than who I was [growing up]. When I was younger, you just listened to the coach and that was it. I’m not saying you can’t coach and do that but find a way to connect with your athlete if you’re going to keep him long-term listening to you. If it’s just X’s and O’s and do what I say, you’re going to lose him at some point.