Head Coaching was called in to elevate the playing level of a nationally ranked collegiate athletic team. The team’s coach, a former athlete who had been successful at the highest level of competition in this sport, had hired Head Coaching because she knew the team had potential but felt that her frustration at not being able to achieve a higher status was impeding them from achieving their goals. Upon speaking with the coach and assessing the team’s situation, it became apparent that the coach’s personal strong competitive drive was directing her coaching communications—to the detriment of the team. Her personal competitiveness was preventing her from effectively leading the team to victory.
The Head Coach Approach
Dr. Petro recognized that the coach would immediately benefit from learning how to redirect her passion for the sport in a positive direction. Head Coaching developed a comprehensive plan to improve the coach’s communication skills, teaching methods and leadership framework. The coach was given specific suggestions to follow when communicating with the team including:
- Present information in greater detail
- Listen to feedback from the players
- Confer regularly with the team to assess whether what she communicated had been translated accurately to the athletes
That season the team won their first conference championship. The next year the team competed in the final four of the NCAA tournament, and the coach was selected conference coach of the year.