Structure time to facilitate formal and informal connections and develop positive relationships with and between athletes
The coach uses a variety of methods during and outside of training sessions to develop relationships with athletes and between athletes. Within training sessions, the coach looks for and provides opportunities for athletes to connect with each other informally and to interact with athletes individually. This can readily happen at the beginning or end of practice. Some coaches might also have the flexibility and resources to meet with athletes, or host activities, outside of practice time. This might include one-on-one meetings, team building events, or meals as a team.
The coach-athlete connection helps build a relational foundation of trust and caring, which builds a healthy mastery-based (risk-taking) climate. The coach also structures time during training sessions to facilitate activities or conversations to help build and improve the peer-to-peer relationships and unity that facilitate the effort, chemistry, and teamwork necessary for success.