High-performance sport is full of strong personalities, challenging training methods, thoughts and opinions, which in truly elite environments are not just important but encouraged. But disagreements can escalate quickly if you don’t apply some principles to your communication with other people. A catastrophic loss of rapport is when a relationship is damaged through poor communication, to the extent that it is no longer functional or positive for yourself, the environment or the athletes.
The results of this can be a loss of trust, respect and spread negativity throughout the environment and in some instances a loss of employment. Challenge and constructive discussion are valuable to the multidisciplinary team, and this article is not advocating for coaches to roll over and concede in discussions that are critical to success. But it will present some basic rules of engagement to avoid a catastrophic loss of rapport in situations where understanding, communication and cohesion can begin to break down.