Over the last couple of years in the training industry and watching what some of the best in the field do, I’ve noticed 3 different traits that make all of them successful. Results, Relationships, and Retention. Regardless of whether you are a coach or a trainer, these three factors remain true. Many do one area well, but the most successful do all 3 at an elite level.
Results: this one is all about helping your players or team get results. Whether that means winning more games or helping a player utilize new skills in a game setting, in-game improvement is the end goal. This pillar requires everything from knowledge of skill acquisition, setting up the proper learning environment, feedback type and frequency, practice structure, and much more. And when it boils down to the basis of what we do, our job as coaches and trainers is to get results. Simple as that. Results are NOT getting a player to look good in practice or improve a skill in a single session. It’s about breeding the transfer of skill from practice to games effectively, to enhance their performance. Of course, we must have knowledge of the game to understand what to work on, but without the knowledge of how to work on these qualities, our players’ results will be limited. Why? Well, just like how many of the best teachers aren’t the smartest on a certain topic but are best at transmitting it to you, there is so much more that goes into improvement than the raw knowledge of the game. And that is exactly what we are focused on with Mastery Hoops —to educate coaches and trainers on how to be more effective teachers. In other words, not only learning what to coach but how to coach it.
Relationships: this is all about knowing how to communicate with players of all kinds, and cultivate real relationships. This is undoubtedly a skill. Some of the best trainers or coaches, believe it or not, may not be the smartest, but simply the best at building relationships, and this is what helps them see great success. When you put in the effort to speak to each player you coach on an individual level, ask the right questions, and CARE, you build trust. Players will buy into you and what you are teaching and trust you have their best interest in mind. The more you learn about each player, the easier it becomes to teach them. You know how they operate, you know what motivates them and you learn more about what they need on and off the court to see success. This accelerates the learning process.
Retention: If you build relationships and get results, retention will usually take care of itself, but there is a lot we can do to enhance retention with the way you coach and train. Retention is also a skill, and it’s one that can be improved. One of the main keys to retention is knowing how to build an environment that players feel safe, wanted, comfortable, and themselves in (this is called psychological safety). This is an environment that breeds intrinsic motivation and empowers players, not belittles them. Players will want to come back—and at the end of the day, retainment will not only benefit you but help them see maximized results. Building the best environment that is conducive to learning, healthy competition, and enjoyment all-around is a significant portion of our jobs as coaches and trainers.
Keep in mind that these 3 skills require more than just knowledge of Xs and O’s. If we as coaches want to see success in our professions, we must have as much dedication to bettering our craft as we preach to our players to have. This is what our “craft” entails—learning how to get results, build strong relationships, and retain our players. This is exactly what Mastery Hoops is built on.
As you can see, knowledge of the game is an underlying aspect of building results, but A LOT of success as a coach or trainer comes down to a lot more than that. If all you do is study the game, you miss a large part of where your results can come from. Learning how to build skills, learning how to communicate, and learning how to retain players is a major aspect of being successful. If you can effectively combine the 3 R’s, you will see amazing growth and success in the long term, and so will the players that you coach on a daily basis.