How you build trust and how you break trust on your team

Teambuilding begins with trust. 

If your athletes don't trust you as the coach...or trust one another:

  • they won't engage in healthy conflict
  • they won't fully commit to team goals
  • they won't be willing to hold each another accountable
  • and your overall results this season will suffer

Trust is important. Yet, you can spend time talking about trust - and get no where. 

Maybe you think your athletes SHOULD trust you - because you're the coach. You can tell them they NEED to trust each other. That sounds great. Here are four other questions your athletes may be wondering about when they're deciding whether or not to trust you:

  1. Are you telling me the truth?
  2. Is there information you're withholding from me?
  3. How do you make decisions?
  4. How can I influence big decisions that effect me (...and is that even possible?)

What most coaches don't realize is how fragile trust can be. Trust is built (and broken) in the smallest of moments.

When athletes don't trust you...they won't trust you have their best interests in mind. They may also not trust that they can be themselves, ask for what they need, be vulnerable, and talk openly to you.



Coaches build trust with their athletes through conversations. Asking questions AND actively listening to them. Listen with an intent to understand.

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