Communication is Key to Team Sports

Mar 16, 2023 | 2022-2023, Blog

By NFHCA sponsor, Gladiator Custom Mouthguards

Communication is key to all forms of interpersonal interaction. Whether it’s a relationship between two people or colleagues working together, good communication is essential to success. And that’s especially true when it comes to team sports.

Of course, it’s not as simple as just telling your athletes to talk to one another. Your players may be working towards one goal — a championship — but each individual athlete is unique. Some may be natural born vocal leaders, while others may not be as vocal.

No matter their age or level of play, getting your athletes to communicate effectively with each other takes two important components: Confidence and Comfort.


Athletes won’t be willing to communicate when the time comes if they’re lacking in confidence; it’s that simple. If they are unsure of themselves and question their choices, they won’t want to call for that pass or help direct the flow of the play.

Confidence comes in many forms, but when it comes to field hockey there are two ways to help your players. The first is comprehension and awareness of the playbook and what is being asked of them. Obviously, this is a direct reflection on coaching, but it’s essential that your athletes are prepared, understand their assignments and the flow of the game. Even one athlete out of sync jeopardizes the entire team.

That knowledge will only help to boost your player’s individual self-confidence.  While each athlete is built different, it’s important to take time to build your athletes up personally. When your players are prepared for any situation and have the self-confidence to trust in their own abilities, the fear of communication is removed.


Being confident certainly helps to break your players out of their communication struggles, but to take things to the next level, they also need to be comfortable. Have you ever been on an awkward first date? When the comfort level is low, communication easily breaks down. It is unrealistic to expect that all of your athletes are going to be friends, but building a sense of camaraderie and comfort with one another is an obtainable goal.

Team building exercises, trips and meals away from practice are easy ways to accomplish this. So are different lineup combinations. Getting your players to work together as a unit means they trust each other and are comfortable enough to communicate clearly.

Confidence and Comfort

While it may be daunting to help build the confidence and comfort of each individual player on your team, there is one easy fix! Besides, it may be difficult to communicate when your players can’t speak clearly.  It’s no mystery that most athletes find their mouthguards to be bulky, ill-fitting, or flat-out uncomfortable.

Well, when they have a custom mouthguard built directly from an impression of their own unique mouth structure, they will be both confident and comfortable in their protection. That’s because Gladiator custom mouthguards stay firmly on the upper teeth without biting or clenching — which means speaking and breathing clearly, allowing your athletes to communicate with ease.

Communication is key, but if your players lack comfort and confidence they won’t succeed when it matters most. See how Gladiator custom mouthguards help your team communicate clearly.

About the Author

In over 20 years of business, Gladiator Custom Mouthguards has grown to be the largest and longest standing consumer-direct custom mouthguard provider in the USA. Gladiator Custom Mouthguards has revolutionized the mouthguard industry by developing a patented design to eliminate bulk and maximize comfort, fixing the biggest issue with mouthguards. Engineered precisely to fit an athlete’s teeth, the Gladiator is the premier custom mouthguard making it more comfortable than any other mouthguard. Gladiator’s patented design is handmade, custom engineered and backed by a Compliance Guarantee! This promises the most comfortable mouthguard possible that the athlete will wear and will fit perfectly when it’s first received or it is fixed/replaced at no extra cost to you. Gladiator is committed to be on the cutting edge of design for the most protective mouthguard athletes can wear with comfort and enhance performance.

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The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.