Living in the age of cell phones, texting, tweeting, instagram, facebook and other social media I have become aware that much of our communication these days is becoming impersonal,  In watching a recent futsal tournament I became aware of our team shaking hands with opponents after matches as much for the personal contact in their greeting as anything else.  I then went on to observe that in greeting their own teammates there were no handshakes, no hugs and often no formal greeting of any type.   My train of thought took me to appreciating that it is little wonder lack of communication on the field of play is a common complaint of coaches about their teams.

Maybe we should outfit team members with Secret Service style personal communication devices equiped with earpieces?  Do not snicker too hard because there is a company out of Powell, Ohio marketing such a thing as a training aid for soccer teams. At the upper levels of the game referee's wear headsets / buzzer systems to communicate with one another during matches.

I think a better approach might be to encourage players to greet one another before practices with a handshake or quick hug with a simple greet of "Hello _____!  Good to to see you"  Simple small talk but also an effective life skill. For instance, the first in-person impression a potential employer has of you is in how you greet him or her.  Are you well practiced and comfortable with executing a firm handshake and making solid eye contact?  You never get a second chance to make a first impression. 

So, this spring our team will work on greeting one another properly.

We will work on disengaging as well. A shake of the hand accompanied by "Good job out there!" or "Way to give it your all today!" perhaps accompanied by a brief embrace and exchange of a hand slap to one anothers back.  And finally an acknowledgement that "I'll see you tomorrow."

Hopefully through getting used to greeting one another we can stimulate better on the field communication as well, but in the least we should improve interpersonal skills and perhaps help the young men make favorable first impressions throughout their lives.

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