Understanding Student-Athletes

Through our research of more than 75,000 interactions between coaches and student-athletes, we have uncovered six coaching themes that are instrumental to improving the student-athlete experience.

connection
Connection

The Connection Theme captures how coaches interact personally with student-athletes in practices and games. Coaches who are strong in this theme seek to connect with each student-athlete in an individualized way that fosters respect, engagement and trust.

psychological-safety
Psychological Safety

The Psychological Safety Theme offers insights into how effectively the coach has created a supportive and healthy student-athlete environment. These environments encourage student-athletes to be their authentic selves without fear of negative consequences for their mistakes, play, or opinions.

structure
Structure

The Structure Theme gives a snapshot of the organization, consistency and predictability of a coach’s behavior. Coaches who are strong in this theme create a framework for their team that encourages individual-player goal setting, stability and accountability.

skill-development
Skill Development

The Skill Development Theme measures the execution of instructional interactions between the student-athlete and the coach. Areas assessed center around a coach’s capacity to advance the competency and technique of student-athletes in order to help them perform to the best of their ability.

communication
Communication

The Communication Theme measures the coach’s capacity to effectively share information, strategies and expectations with their student-athletes. This theme also measures how well coaches listen to their student-athletes, as well as their efficacy of using technology as a communication tool.

challenge
Challenge

The Challenge Theme highlights the fostering of a growth environment where the coach pushes student-athletes beyond expected or previous levels of performance. This theme additionally reveals a coach’s capacity to shape an elite mindset.

How it helps

How a coach scores within these themes is provided in detailed reports to ADs and coaches, which becomes the playbook for improvement.

year-one-result
year-two-result

In the example above, this coach’s season-over-season growth is revealed in higher scores across the board, with significant improvements in each of the Six Themes.

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