What makes a good coach?

3 simple skills the most successful coaches use to make a big impact


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There are many theories and studies that explore what makes a good coach. It’s tricky because each coach’s style is different. Some are direct and outspoken, while others are more quiet and insightful. Some believe in offense, others in a strong defense. For every trait you can point out in a high-performing coach, it seems you can find the exact opposite in another coach that’s just as successful. It’s comforting to know that your coaching style isn’t the only factor.

So what’s the goal of a good coach? Putting together teams year after year that win and develop strong players is certainly a big part of it. But that’s really a side-effect of the real goal. These top coaches believe the same thing as you and I do! If you want those wins and outward success, you have to develop the person.  

Good coaches connect with, develop and empower their athletes

These are the three biggest common skills of a good coach the BEST coaches. The ability to connect with each player, to develop their physical and mental skills, and to empower them to take bold action. That’s what Mel discusses today!

  • Looking at the best in the business as examples of a good coach 
  • How to connect with each player in your own way
  • Developing players both physically and mentally
  • Empowering players to take ownership of their journey
  • How to do implement these skills when every “good coach” has a different personality and style

(Prefer to read? Click here!)

You’re not a good coach until you turn ideas into action

This is the age of mental training in softball. More and more coaches are catching onto the lingo of trusting the process and controlling the controllables. Unfortunately, that’s usually where it stops: talking about it.

Most coaches tell their players they need to be more positive and let go of mistakes (preaching). Some try to explain to the athlete the importance of making a change (teaching). But few know how to actually get those lessons to show up on game day (training).

Learning from those who’ve already figured it out makes you a smart coach, too!

Let’s take a look at what strength coaches are doing. They have developed an effective method of development:

1) Help players assess where they are currently 
2) Explain how the exercise works
3) Teach them the fundamental skills to get stronger
4) Follow and guide their progress, making adjustments as needed

Did you think I was just talking about lifting weights? Well guess what- the mind is a muscle too! Imagine if you followed this same process for developing mental toughness? And then imagine if you built connection and empowerment into that process too?

That’s what makes you a damn good coach!

That’s our mission with the Softball Mental Training Membership. We help you make the real impact you desire with our step-by-step system and a la cart resources to make sure you have everything you need to develop a positive, mentally tough culture. 

Our programs are best for coaches who dream big, want to make a big impact on their players, and want to do everything they can to develop strong young women on and beyond the field. Sound like you?

You can use our season-long mental training yourself with our complete Toolkit (which includes the Dream Team Blueprint) or bring us in to consult with your team to address your specific needs!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reach out me at, shoot me a message on Twitter, or join our free Facebook group.


Mel & Alicia


On and off the field player development | Lonni Alameda [INT]

Interview with Florida State softball head coach, Lonni Alameda


Strong voice over weak voice | Ruby Rojas [INT]

Interview with Ruby Rojas, Head Coach at Mt San Antonio College


Ownership molds a program | Larissa Anderson [INT]

Interview with University of Missouri Head Coach, Larissa Anderson



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by Rebekah Pratt on Mental Sweet Spot
Phenomenal information

As a new coach that believes in the mental game being so important, the podcasts and group discussions online have been amazing. Thank you ladies so much! Just knowing that the day to day struggles and doubts are felt by so many others has been remarkably reassuring. Thank you for what you are giving to others in the sport.

5 Star Podcasts!

I love listening to your podcasts while out on a run or on my way to work. They are focused and give me one or two pieces of inspiration to focus on with my team for the week. I have implemented a few key words (like "supportive") and have gotten huge returns from it! Keep up the great work!!

by Katie on Mental Sweet Spot
Mental Toughness

As a softball coach and a teacher, I appreciate all of the strategies and advice that Melanie shares each week! She is so inspiring, knowledgeable about the mental game, and willing to help in any way! One tip that really resonates with me is learning how to understand which things in life you are able to control, and what is out of your control. I teach these skills on the field and in the classroom! Thank you for all of the support and encouragement!

by Tabitha on Mental Sweet Spot
🌟 ⭐️ 🌟 ⭐️ 🌟

I love being part of the Mental Sweet Spot because it helps me think outside of the box to help our team grow mentally. I’ve noticed with the techniques and advice from Melanie and others in her Facebook Group I’ve help my team not only grow mentally but athletically as well. Mental toughness will help your team on the field as well and Melanie’s advice has proven that time and time again.



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