Larry Doty’s Communication Philosophy

I saw Larry Doty, the now-retired coach of the Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon) men’s team speak about his NITE philosophy on better communication at the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association. I think he has some great points which I want to share with you.

N – Names. Don’t just yell “Rebound!” – add in the player’s name who needs to accomplish the task. It’s not to single someone out for a mistake but simply yelling into a group of people allows each individual to think the coach is talking to someone else.

I – Information. Provide quick, direct information to players. They are processing a lot in drills and games. And, don’t just command them. Instruct them. “Paul, keep your butt on him through the rebound” is better than simply “Rebound!”

T – Tone Of Voice. Treat your statements with pride and purpose so players will do the same. Remember, if you scream about everything, then nothing you say elicits a sense of urgency from players.

E – Eye Contact. Look directly at the player in question and state your directive. Don’t yell it from across the gym. Remember, you are dealing with a generation that always has one eye on a screen, so draw both of their eyes onto you to ensure maximum retention of your information.

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