Do you know how to listen your athletes?

The ability to listen consists of understanding what others are saying, showing them interest in their message. It is important for the coaches to know if and to what extent they have developed this competence. For this purpose they may reflect on some issues that may help to refine their awareness of this psychological competence, and ask themselves:

  • Do I spend time listening to my athletes?
  • How do I show this willingness?
  • How often do I think that athletes do not understand me or are they not very motivated?
  • How do I react to the indifference, disappointment, anger, and joy of the athletes?

Coaches who listen communicate in this way:

  • They use the words of others to make them understand that they’ve listened to them.
  • They repeat, paraphrasing what they’ve heard.
  • They use expressions like “If I understand correctly, you mean…” or “You’re telling me it’s like this for you… and this way…”
  • They use non-verbal language in a manner consistent with the content of their message, so they look at the athlete or group and assume a body position facing them…
  • Recognise other people’s moods, emphasizing their value, striving to reduce their intensity or increase it according to the situation.
  • They know how to summarize the opinions of others, highlighting the value of individual and/or collective contributions in achieving the objectives

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