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12 Coaching Points to Build the Player-Coach Relationship

By Keith Grabowski, USA Football, 04/10/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Be careful about the use of humor. It’s been said that there is truth in comedy, and too much humor and sarcasm can hurt a relationship.

The way we motivate our players is as important to what we do as our technical and strategic knowledge of football. There are many motivational concepts, philosophies and even gimmicks. True motivation is built around trust, respect, caring and honesty. 

As a young teacher, I remember getting an evaluation form from a principal who asked what my techniques and strategies were for motivating my students. My reply was simple. “I talk to them.” I come across many gimmicky techniques that are intended to motivate players. There are some good ones and some things that certainly can help your team focus. But the foundation of motivation is built around developing a strong relationship with your players. That fiery pregame speech only works because your players trust you, believe in you and care about you.