5 Ways to Win Over Your Target Audiences
We learn about winning and losing at an early age. Our first experiences of both are often through sports, as a fan, casual observer or player.
We are influenced by our early teachers and coaches, subconsciously forming our own views of leadership, management and communication. Coaches, players, parents and fans have opinions on what coaching is or what makes a good coach.
Some level of expertise in the sport is an obvious prerequisite. Time management is crucial because coaches have a limited amount of time with their players. Motivational skills are important to coax the most out of different team members. Leadership and accepting responsibility are other necessary traits.
Yet the area where most coaches fall short — from youth sports to high school, college and even the professional ranks — is the lack of consistent, effective communication.
5 Ways Coaches (and You) Can Win Over Target Audiences
Identify and Understand. Coaches have to reach and influence multiple audiences. For example, high school coaches should target parents, media, alumni, students, players and local businesses. Average coaches typically ignore or neglect a few while successful coaches focus on each group. Where are they coming from? How can you reach them?
Admit You Are Selling. Average coaches sell the audiences they think are important. Successful ones admit they are selling all the time. It doesn’t mean being manipulative or caving in on every complaint. It means explaining both your big picture vision and your tactical approach.
Communicate clearly, early and often. Tell target audiences your message. Tell them again. Then tell them a few more times. Don’t assume they heard or understood the first time. Remember, they’re busy living their lives.
Use the VCR. Not the outdated video technology but rather be vulnerable, compassionate and respectful in your communications.
Hold yourself and your target audiences accountable. We all fall short on our responsibilities at some point. Communicate when you recognize you were off your game and point out constructively when others are off theirs.
As a coach, I’ve struggled at one time or another in each area. I’m guessing most youth, high school, college and professional coaches have as well. But the peak performers in sports and the workplace strive to improve in each area over time.
One of my favorite examples of a coach forgetting about his target audiences is NFL coach Dennis Green’s infamous Monday Night Meltdown. Green lost his cool when the Arizona Cardinals allowed the Chicago Bears to come back after being down 20 points. He’s now remembered by many (including his key target audience of Cardinals fans) for this memorable (and profanity-laced) YouTube clip.
What’s your favorite coaching communication miscue? Let us know on the MASSolutions’ Facebook page.