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Tell Players What They Need To Hear, Not What They Want To Hear

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Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51), a PCA National Advisory Board Member, is the Northwestern University Head Football Coach. Prior to coaching, his College Football Hall of Fame career included twice being named an All-American, twice winning both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Awards, and leading Northwestern to back-to-back Big Ten titles and a Rose Bowl appearance in the mid-90's.

In describing his communication style with his players, Fitzgerald shares that he tends to be direct, by telling players what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear, especially on gameday. By consistently communicating in this manner with players, they can begin to trust that the coaches want to help them get better. Fitzgerald notes that it's important to be as clear as possible in communicating what he wants, so his players know his expectations.