If there is one thing that can quickly tear a team or any type of coaching relationship apart it's a lack of trust!
Quite frankly, if you think about any sort of relationship - parent/child, husband/wife, employer/employee, etc - and asked people what are critical elements/qualities of those relationships that make them work well I would wager that trust would come out pretty high on quite a few lists.
One of my core coaching mantras iwhen I'm coaching one of my volleyball teams is the importance of trusting each other - coach to player, player to player, parent to coach. If there's a break in any part of that chain you will have eventual chaos and there is no way that your team will reach it's full potential no matter how great your coaching strategies are or how incredibly demanding your conditioning programs are.
A recent article from one of my absolute favorite coaching blogs deals with this subject and I'd highly recommend checking it out.
Coaches, just like their clients and athletes, come in all shapes and sizes and just to be clear, I'm really not talking about their height, body composition, or hair styles. To me the most important question that a coach needs to ask themselves is the central question, "why do I want to be a coach?"
There are a ton of possible great answers to this question including the desire to pass on knowledge that they've acquired through years of study and personal participation in the field they wish to coach in and on an even more basic level most coaches know that they have a tremendous amount of influence on those they coach and as we often see this can be potentially a really good thing or sometimes a very frustrating experience - see youth sports for all the fun some coaches have trying to keep concerned parents from tackling referees on the field for a possible mistaken call!
Ultimately most coaches have a strong desire to change the lives of those they coach for the better. Whether teaching a diabetic how to eat better for a healthier life or helping and athlete better understand nutrient timing for optimal recovery great coaches go beyond cookie cutter programming to get to the core of how to make these changes. That might include improving specific skills in a sport but even more importantly the best coaches are usually focused on - especially in a sports coaching setting - helping their players become better human beings while they're becoming better at a particular sport. If you're a coach and what you care about most is how many wins you have in a season or how many times you are mentioned in the local press then I'm not sure you really understand what coaching is all about.
For those coaches who have been in the trenches for a while almost all would tell you that there's something especially rewarding about running into someone you helped coach in the past and hearing them yell out, "hey coach" and hearing them talk about the impact that you had on their lives. Coaching by it's very nature is a position of great influence and responsibility so taking a little time to exam your motives for coaching is always worth the time.