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Bringing Empathy to Your Team

Wondering how you can bring empathy to your team? Follow the tips below to create that supportive, empathetic environment that all kids can benefit from!

Things Coaches Can Say to Athletes

  • “What would it feel like if it happened to you?”
  • “Try to understand what someone else is feeling.”
  • “What might they be feeling?”
  • “Let’s take care of each other.”
  • “I think you might be feeling this way, is this accurate?”
  • “How are you feeling right now?”

Examples of Coaching with Empathy

Reacting to behavior and/or emotional displays. Take a breath. Create team expectations and
support your athletes to reach them. Acknowledge
your athlete’s feelings.
Assuming what is going on for an athlete. Confirm with them. Double check that you are
reading the situation correctly.
Judging your athlete’s behavior/emotion. Believe them.
Trying to fix things. Demonstrate care (i.e. a thumbs up, high five, “I
hear you”, “I understand”, “That sounds
Assuming your athlete’s perspective. Instead of placing your own experiences upon
their situation, see the world through the athlete’s
eyes to understand their experience.
Giving athletes physical consequences. Understand behavioral and emotional reactions
tell a story and ask open-ended questions to
support them. Set clear expectations and
support athletes to reach them.