Developing Closer Runner Athlete and Coach Relationship

In our society, developing good relationships is very important. Regardless of what type of relationship it may be, a good one can promote happiness, harmony and productivity. Among athletes, especially track runners, the relationship with coaches is vital to mastering techniques and developing personal characteristics that can help in winning any competition. A relationship between a runner and a coach often makes a significant difference between failure and success in the field.

To develop a good relationship between a runner and coach, it requires more than just compatibility in their personalities. It is different from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) relationships where the success of a relationship is generally predicted based on the compatibility of the personalities of people involved. For instance, INFJ relationships and ENFJ relationships are commonly perceived to succeed because of the many positive attributes of both the INFJs and ENFJs. In the world of sports, especially in track and field, both parties should exert extra effort to make the relationship work, regardless if their personalities are compatible or not.

Runners and coaches should achieve a high level of understanding in different areas to have a good working relationship. These areas include:

infj relationshipsPersonal and Professional Relationship

A runner and a coach should feel at ease with each other. This is only possible if a close relationship exists both personally and professionally, personally as friends and not secret enemies, and professionally as an athlete-coach. Closeness helps promote respect and trust for each other. When an athlete trusts his or her coach, it allows for more open communication which can help the coach identify the athlete’s areas of concern in the sport. That way, training will be directed more toward developing those areas, thereby helping the athlete grow and improve in performance.


A coach and a runner should be “on the same page” and work from there. This means that both parties should aim for the same end-goal. If the coach is aiming for the gold medal but the runner is aiming to just get through it, the differences in the orientation would cost any possible winning. Having an open communication is vital to understanding the goals of each party involved. With the same goal in mind, both parties can then work together to achieve that goal.


Complementarity in a relationship is that feeling when you feel that you need the other person to grow and be the best that you can be. Developing this area is also vital in any runner-coach relationship to achieve success in the sport. An athlete should not feel that he can stand on his own without a coach. That is when the downfall usually happens. The same is true for coaches. If the coach does not believe on the capabilities of the athlete, there is no point in maintaining the relationship.

If you are a runner or athlete in any other field, it is best to start off developing a good relationship with a good coach before eyeing for the winning prize. The kind of relationship between an athlete and a coach would spell a big difference between success and failure in any sport.


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