How to Have a Tough Conversation With a Coach
● By Digital Media Director
· Be prepared
First of all, make sure you’re going into the conversation with knowledge of what you want to say. It sounds obvious, but if you really want to make your coach focus on what you’re saying, you need to be sure YOU know what that is! Write down the most important points and practice saying them out loud before you go.
· Pick the best time
Practice is a busy time for everyone, so ask your coach before practice begins if you can take a few minutes of their time once practice is over. That way they can give you their full attention without the distractions of everyone else. Another option is to set up an appointment outside of practice hours, if you think the conversation will take a long time.
· Find support
It’s okay to bring someone for support. This could be a teammate, friend, parent, or another adult you trust. Explain to them the situation before you go, so they can be fully supportive when you’re talking.
· Don’t get personal
Try to keep the conversation neutral, and keep personal feelings out of it. If you’re upset about your place in the team, give a list of reasons why you think it should be reevaluated, and not why you think the coach was wrong. Keep your tone neutral and positive, and you’ll be surprised how successful your negotiations can be.
· Leave with a plan
Before you end your talk with your coach, make sure everyone knows the plan going forward. Come up with a few action steps, and follow up on them in a few days.
Regardless of what your difficult conversation is about, by following these simple steps you can make sure your coach hears you, has time for you and understands what you want. Be confident, bring support and good luck!