Lesson Four – Communicate


In Module 2 of Coaching With Purpose we included a lesson on the power of our words and introduced the Put-Up Game. Hopefully, those ideas have reshaped and/or reinforced the interaction you have with your athletes and that they have with each other. In this lesson we will take an even deeper look at the importance of communicating with clarity and discipline, with our athletes, their parents and all who are stakeholders in our program.

For the purposes of this lesson I highly recommend reading all of chapter 8 of InSideOut Coaching, but if you find yourself pressed for time (like most coaches) then we suggest at least reading the first few pages. The official reading assignment for this lesson is:

Read p. 182-186 of InSideOut Coaching and p. 126-129 of The Sandlot Strategy

For discussion/reflection:

1. In the introduction to chapter 8, Joe gives us a powerful and tragic story about Coach
Tom Pecore. Hopefully you’ve never experienced a situation quite like this one, but
perhaps you have. Share a story of your own, depicting a time when you either got it
terribly wrong, or maybe got it exactly right when it comes to communicating with a
player in need.

2. Coach Pecore underwent a tremendous transformation himself, as he resolved to
become a transformational communicator. Think about each step of that process
outlined on pages 183-184 and discuss what challenges and obstacles a coach might
face once he/she decides to reshape his/her communication. (Notice the role the
Coaching Purpose Statement played in Coach Pecore’s process.)

3. Joe’s football program at Gilman implemented Codes of Conduct for coaches, parents
and players. Take a look at these on pages 191-197. Would something similar be a useful
tool in your program? Why or why not?

4. Coach Severns is an outstanding example of a coach who communicates well with
players and parents. What did you take away from reading the selection in The Sandlot

5. Have you shared your Coaching Purpose Statement with your players and their families?
If so, how has that been received? If not, why not?