Athletes need mentorship, guidance and communication more than ever. They’re speaking a slightly different language. Coach and player seek to build soft skills and prepare for life beyond the playing surface. Goals and means within the soft skill arena tell a different story.
During April and May of 2020, 200+ coaches, athletes and parents of athletes, spanning professional to high school, responded to a survey to enlighten the Sevwins team about today’s state of the coach-athlete relationship. The findings affirmed assumptions and highlighted areas where all of us can work together better to enable our young adults.
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Athletes and Parents View Coaches as Trusted Mentors
Coaches are trusted mentors who understand the needs of the athletes. Every score in the set of questions was 83% or better, no matter who was asked (coach, athlete or parent).
98% of coaches view themselves as a mentor
89% of parents believe their children view coach as a mentor
87% of athletes view coaches as mentors
91% of athletes trust their coach
Athletes selected Coaches as
primary mentors, second only to family members
Strikingly Different Process Goals
Coaches, athletes and parents see a coach’s primary role very differently.
51% of coaches have a primary goal of building life skills (more than 2x any other goal)
92% of parents see something other than “life skills” as primary (#1: Deepen Relationships 33%)
0% of athletes surveyed see “building life skills” as improving their experience in sports
The findings improve nuances of communication between athletes and coaches. The “emotional desire” gap and the “goal gap” reveal a strikingly different view of development itself. However, a strong desire for soft-skill development and deeper relationships, combined with high levels of trust, make this study the precursor to the question: “How do we improve athletes lives if coaches and players see it differently?”