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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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2 A coach’s story: emotional regulation

Emotional regulation is the second topical aspect you explore. You have already seen that conviction and stirring words have a place in influencing others. But how does one coach view the role of emotional regulation in his communication?

Activity 2 Danny Kerry’s journey as head coach of GB hockey

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

The purpose of this activity is to hear how Danny Kerry, Great Britain Olympic hockey coach, explains his coaching and management journey, including a key aspect of his working relationships.

Watch the video and, while watching, identify and note:

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Why does he identify managing and regulating himself as being a key skill in managing relationships with others?


Kerry talks about the importance of self-management and self-regulation – he does not fully explain these terms. They are about controlling your emotions and feelings, particularly in stressful situations, so that you can communicate using calm consistency. This helps earn trust, respect and a greater likelihood that you might instil confidence in others. Notice how Kerry talks of emotional regulation rather than using emotional intelligence. You will recall how in the motor racing and neighbour dispute videos, there were colourful examples of people not controlling their emotions and feelings often resulting in abrupt and ineffective communication.

In the video you have just watched, Danny Kerry chose to use hedging or boosting language that demonstrated something forcibly (e.g. ‘a huge amount’) or with humility and less certainty (e.g. ‘I’m not sure I‘ve …’).

This subtle use of language is not always so evident in social media, the topical communication issue you turn to next.