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UK Coaching Team
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Rapport Building and Communicating

Understanding the Coach-Athlete Relationship

Harmony between trainer and athlete is the best route to success, writes Dr Sophia Jowett

Gone are the days where coaches were seen as the sole drivers of athletic performance. We now understand the value of a strong coach-athlete bond.

Coaching, it is fair to say, is an evolving beast. In 2012 Sir Alex Ferguson, still in charge of Manchester United and still seen as a talisman of football management, opened up to Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse about his treatment of players.

“What you can pick up by watching is incredibly valuable. Seeing a change in a player’s habits or a sudden dip in his enthusiasm allowed me to go further with him: Is it family problems? Is he struggling financially? Is he tired? What kind of mood is he in? 

“I don’t think many people fully understand the value of observing. I came to see observation as a critical part of my management skills. The ability to see things is key – or, more specifically, the ability to see things you don’t expect to see.”

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UK Coaching Team