The concept of athlete “buy-in” is a big topic in training today, but what exactly is it? Buy-in, according to research and personal experience from coaches at all levels of sport, indicates dedication. Athletes are dedicated to their sport, their team, their teammates, themselves, and others. And you know who plays the most important role in the whole game?

The coach! It is your role as the coach to teach, enlighten, value, and motivate each athlete. It is your responsibility to assist athletes in identifying, achieving, and exceeding their potential. If you can do that, you’ll almost certainly get the athlete’s buy-in.

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1. Build high-quality coach-athlete relationships

The interconnectedness of relational thoughts, feelings, and behaviours can be regarded as a coach-athlete relationship. Communication, interacting, admitting, sharing, teaching, following, understanding, helping, directing, and fostering are amongst the active ingredients required for a successful connection. Trust and respect are by far the most important components.

2. Find out what motivates your athlete

Various factors eventually motivate individual players. Some are motivated by external medals and awards, whereas others play for the competition, because their mates are competing, or because they are obliged to play by their families. Whatever the cause, knowing what it allows you to adjust what you’re doing to fit the various demands of each player.

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3. Engage and involve your athletes

Include your athletes in the creation of the program’s and specific sessions’ rules and boundaries. Co-create and define team and individual goals based on their ideas and ambitions. Don’t worry if it’s a ‘bad’ session; most of the time, it’s a fruitful practice because the players are eager to put in the effort in the practices they select. When you give people a stake in the team, they are more inclined to buy into the programme because it becomes ‘ours.’

4. Make your practices challenging, fun and competitive whenever possible

Make your practices as engaging and efficient as possible to overcome this issue. Take the time to plan out your practices. Drills are a great way to get your players’ dander up. Psychologically engage the athlete with demanding routines. Perhaps include a peer-coaching mindset and assign them the task of assisting and mentoring others’ development and achievement.

5. Value and appreciate your athletes’ roles, especially your reserves

Some argue that a person’s most basic need is to be recognised. This is particularly true in the case of athletes. Your players must believe that what they are doing is of critical importance to the squad. While your players receive a lot of attention, you should also recognise your reserves for the essential contributions they provide to the team.

6. Be a role model of hard work and commitment

As a coach, your mental toughness and level of devotion send a clear message. Arrive early for practice. Carry out a well-organized and high-quality practice. Stay late if you can. Be willing to go above and above. Maintain a constant level of commitment.

7. Show your athletes you care about them

Showing athletes that you care for them is one of the finest ways to get their commitment. People reciprocate your loyalty when those who feel valued and cared for. They recognise that you regard them as individuals, not simply athletes.


Football teaches valuable lessons that one can never forget. They will aid you in your post-football career and professional life too. People learn not just how to tackle people and catch a leather ball, but also how to lead others and the importance of practice. The advantages of playing the game are sometimes neglected. But the life skills learned by youngsters through football while playing it are extremely valuable.

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