Warriors coach Andrew Webster takes inspiration from some but trusts his own authentic self to get the best out of his players.
He says there are some he has worked with whose approach to coaching he would not copy and there are some he would, but being yourself is what he says is essential to getting the team to buy in.
“If it’s not organic they see right through it, the players. They’re very clever, they’re very clever at feeling things, players,” he tells Murray Deaker on Murray Deaker’s Sporting Lives.
“If you’re not being yourself they’re quick to understand it and you lose that buy-in.”
He says part of this philosophy is understanding that a team is made up of individuals and that individuals have unique needs.
“I like to coach them on an individual basis, I like to work with them I like them to feel a part of it, I like them to have a say.
“I think there’s guys in the environment you’ve got to know how they’re going to take feedback. If you praise them all the time they might not even enjoy that. They might think come on mate you’ve got to be a bit stronger here with me I need some firmer feedback,” he tells Deaker.
That feedback is crucial in any working environment and Webster says the balance between building confidence and constructive, firm feedback is key to unlocking players’ potential.
“It’s not always working in a negative way, but you’ve got to be mindful if you’re too strong with your feedback or too negative towards it then you’re going to lose that player and you’re not going to get the performance that you’re looking for.
“The reason we’re giving this feedback all the time is because we want them to be better, but you can have the reverse effect if you get that wrong and you give that feedback in a way that they can’t handle.”
Player buy-in to the coaching philosophy is essential for any team, but particularly a team with a coach in their first year at the helm. Webster tells Deaker you don’t need to shout to get your point across.
“I think I’m that type of coach. I can be firm but I’m certainly not a shouter or a screamer and I feel I just get better buy-in and the boys enjoy that a lot more, when I feel they need me to be firm I’m not scared to be either. I feel like you get way more buy-in that way.”
As for off-field inspiration, Webster credits his parents as instilling in him a personal philosophy that he has carried through to his professional life.
“How to treat people with respect and if you do that they’ll treat you back the same.”
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