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Positive Coaching Definition: Empathy, Not Dictation

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Jesse Mermuys is an Assistant Coach for the Sacramento Kings. Before joining the Kings, Mermuys was the Assistant Coach of the Lakers, and before that, Head Coach and Assistant GM of the Toronto Raptors D-League basketball team, the Raptors 905. Before his position with the Raptors 905, he was a former Assistant Coach for both the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets, where he also worked as Director of Player Personnel.

When asked to define positive coaching in his own words, Murmuys answered that positive coaching is coaching with empathyand putting yourself in your players shoes. Positive coaching is not elevating yourself above the players, unable to understand where your players are coming from.If you truly get to know your players on a personal level and can build the trust through empathy, even when you correct them the athletes will know you're doing it because you care about them.

While many coaches believe that a team is a dictatorship with the coach as the dictator, Mermuys is of the opinion that coach and player should be on the same level, striving towards the same goal. Positive coaching is empathy, not dictation.