A Coaches Emotional Needs from his Players

The purpose of this summary is to provide you a guideline or reminder that coaches are people with emotions….and it’s important to assess, understand and align to enhance your experience on their team.


Coaches, especially at the high school level are very special people. They invest their time and energy to help shape the lives of young athletes, who typically are unsure what they want to be and why.


Emotions drive behaviors…if you like or dislike someone is emotional and typically determined by your “perception “ of their alignment with your values, or what’s important to you. If you like someone, then you are more accepting of their actions.


Liking is different than respecting or accepting….you don’t have to “like” a person to respect their skills or contributions. However, folks with “more emotions” will typically find this harder..while folks with “less emotions” will think it’s logical and easy to do. If dealing with a more emotional personality, then you have to adapt to their need for alignment…make them like you.


For coaching, it’s important to consider “WHY” do they coach and what do they seek?

  • Help young athletes
  • Stay involved in a sport they love
  • Enjoy the excitement of continuing to compete (need to win)
  • Enjoy seeing athletes grow because of their coaching
  • ?


What would be the Primary Emotional Needs for a coach?


  • RESPECTING…they know you value their experience and coaching…
    • HOW: Yes Sir/No Sir…
  • LISTENING…to what they are coaching…by knowing you are listening and applying their drills, processes, lessons, routines, habits or plays is important…else it is a waste of time
    • HOW: Look in eyes..process information…apply immediately…if in doubt, ask questions…don’t challenge….(challenging is done out of practice for your clarity)
  • FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS…do what the coach wants, even if you don’t agree and do it as hard as possible…give 110%..even when wrong..
    • HOW: Go full speed focused on the task
  • EXECUTION…coaches keep their jobs by YOU doing your job….

Secondary Emotional Drivers (these are important but less so than primary drivers)

  • Team 1st…
  • Not a whiner/complainer….
  • Accept mistakes…no excuses
  • Committed to being the best you can be


Observational Actions:

  • Assess the emotional level of your coaches?
  • What are Coach X Top 3 Emotional Needs from his Players?
  • How are you aligned to those needs?