5 Quality Player Traits Coaches Appreciate


Coaches appreciate and remember players with quality traits.

Coaches are tasked with teaching the game, developing players, and building teamwork. Coaches devote long hours to learning ways to teach the game and the skills of the game using drills, technology, vocabulary, mental approach and more. Alongside of teaching the game, coaches must also develop the player’s skills, mental approach, responsibility, life lessons and much more. A big part of life lessons is about teamwork, how to be a great teammate, how to be a respectful, supportive and executing your job when called upon to do it to contribute to the team.

Throughout the years of coaching there are memorable plays, games, seasons and players. Players that have great talent are remember for those special skill(s) they excel in. Then there are those players coaches remember because they have quality traits a coach appreciates.

5 Quality Player Traits

1. Coachable
2. Works Hard
3. Positive Attitude
4. Has Respect
5. Has Fun

1. Coachable

Being coachable is the players ability to receive feedback and work hard to make adjustments to get better. When a player is having success, that is typically when a player is un-coachable. A player becomes very coachable the more he/she struggles. The saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” See 5 Benefits of Being More Coachable blog post.

2. Works Hard

A player that works hard, does so in practices, games and any extra workouts. Players that work hard – typically don’t miss the extra workouts. Players that work hard challenge their teammates and the coach knows this will make the team better. When players don’t work hard, they have to be constantly pushed and pushed and pushed, which over the course of a long season can wear a toll on a coach.

3. Positive Attitude

Bringing and having a positive attitude at practices and games is great for team morale. People are drawn to positive attitudes and want to stay away from negative attitudes. Players that have positive attitudes will be positive for themselves and encouraging to their teammates. A coach knows that a team that has positive attitudes can do great things together and always believe they are in the game. You attitude determines your altitude.

4. Has Respect

Coaches work hard to earn respect and players should have respect for coaches, teammates, officials, opponents and the game. Some examples of respect are – keeping your eyes locked on the person speaking, taking your sun glasses off when the coach is speaking, saying thank you to the coach after practice/game/season, no yawning when the coach is talking, and making eye contact when shaking hands – just to name a few. Players that have respect for the game, respect the decisions of the officials by not arguing, play the game the right way (hard and within the rules of the game), and respects opponents (showing appreciation for great effort and good plays, as well as, compassion for missed plays and losses).

5. Has Fun

A player that is coachable, works hard, has a positive attitude and has respect should also have fun. A player that has respect and also has fun, knows the boundaries of fun and helps the coach develop a team culture that is loose during tight game situations. These players will also tend to provide a genuine rally issue/message/theme for the season that helps with team chemistry and bonding. A coach appreciates a player that has fun, as this reminds the coach that the sport is a game, a game used to teach life lessons.

5 Benefits of Being More Coachable


Coachability is up to the PLAYER, not the coach.

Being asked to change or getting corrections on how to do something can be difficult to do or understanding. As with any area in life – the classroom, on the job, our personal life, in a sport – being able to receive advice and mentorship is a necessary part of growth. As a coach-instructor, it can become extremely frustrating to work with a player that is uncoachable. Uncoachable players show the following behaviors and characteristics:

  • Player tends to roll our eyes or take things personally that they shouldn’t.
  • Players seem ungrateful even to those who help the most.
  • Players read into things more deeply than they should.
  • Players often believe everything is about them, even someone else’s bad day.
  • Players body language shows the resistance to change/corrections.

Most of the time uncoachable players don’t even know they are uncoachable. The player looks to the coach, the team, other players, the equipment and even the sport. In the end, the player must realize that it is them. A player’s coachability is a mentality that requires diligence and attention from the player. In other words: coachability is up to the player, not the coach. Players that are coachable display the following characteristics:

  • Be open to honest feedback.
  • Be willing to change your habits.
  • Be humble.
  • Be willing to work hard.
  • Be thankful someone will take the time to help you improve and push you beyond your limits.

Why be coachable? The most obvious reason is to get better. All coaches want to help you get better in life and in your sport. Coachable players create a fun team environment. The following are 5 benefits of being coachable:

5 Benefits of Being Coachable

  • More playing time (and less drill or bench time).
  • Greater cohesion with team and/or coaches.
  • Accelerated learning.
  • Deeper and more fulfilling relationships with your coaches.
  • Greater internal calm: accepting criticism for what it is (INFORMATION) instead of what it isn’t (AN ATTACK) requires a solid internal foundation.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein