Role clarification is one of the best tools a coach can use to help athletes build confidence in themselves and in their teammates. A coach can improve a teams’ effectiveness by making sure each athlete understands their role and accepts it. People are willing to put forth more effort if they feel that they are an important contributor to the teams’ success. The most important part of accepting a role is to first understand it. Athletes need to know what is expected of them in their roles; behaviors, responsibilities, performances; they also need to know the consequences of their specific role.
A great way to ensure athletes know what their role is by doing this role clarification exercise.
- Have each athlete write down what they think their specific role is
- Have each athlete then name the roles they think everyone else has
- Have the coaching staff write down every players role
It’s important for these three things to match up. If they don’t, coaches need to sit down with their athletes and reiterate what is expected of them. Understanding and accepting a role as an athlete is crucial to confidence, success, and team cohesion. There is a sense of pride that comes with having a role on the team and knowing you are contributing. Players need to know their participation is important, and crucial to the teams’ success. Every player on a team is important. As a coach its imperative that your behaviors and words make it known that you believe every player can contribute. Empowering non-starters through role definition can enhance their satisfaction on the team and possibly improve their contribution to the team and their athletic performance.
Coach Sue Enquist from UCLA always preached the importance of focusing on non-starters. Starters put in the work and get the reward of seeing their name on the starting line up sheet; non-starters put in the same work and rarely get the reward of seeing their name on the starting line up sheet. Therefore it’s important to make it known that your non-starters still contribute in crucial ways to the team.
Role clarification is a key tactic to avoid conflict and create a positive team culture where team cohesion and confidence can thrive.
Quote of the day:
“Your Value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”