Dave Thorson recently led his De La Salle program (Minneapolis) to its sixth straight 3A state title in Minnesota. When he discusses buy-in from players, coaches should listen. Thorson spoke at a clinic I attended a while back, and shared his thoughts on the “3 V’s of Communication as a Leader” to the crowd on hand.
3 V’s of communication as a leader
1. Vision – You set the vision of the program as the head coach. But, you need everyone to be on board. “If I create the vision but I don’t have that buy-in from the people standing there at the end of practice (players, assistant coaches), then at the end of the day, the scoreboard probably isn’t going to be where you want it to be.”
2. Value – No matter the role in the program, everyone has value. Thorson says he’s not naive enough to think he’s going to treat everyone exactly the same. But everyone must feel valued. “Make sure every player feels like they are empowered and an important part of what is happening. It seems basic but sometimes we brush it over.”
3. Voice – Coaches are becoming more accepting of players speaking up when the time is right, but to go a level deeper, you should be asking them what they think. Thorson says when he first started coaching, he didn’t believe players should have a voice, but now he knows better. “As I’ve evolved, it’s been less about championships and winning, and more of a focus on the relationship piece of the program.” Keep these “V’s” in mind as you interact with players this offseason and grow your program during these critical months.