top of page

Understanding the Different Levels of Player Engagement

“We only know a tiny proportion about the complexity of the natural world. Wherever you look, there are still things we don’t know about and don’t understand. [...] There are always new things to find out if you go looking for them.” ― David Attenborough

When it comes to mentoring players, understanding the different levels of player engagement is crucial for effective coaching. There are six general terms to describe player engagement: rebellious, obedient, compliant, cooperative, committed and passionate. This applies to any situation where a person is trying to lead a group to accomplish any goal including business, education and every sport.

Here's an explanation of the six:


Characteristics: Players at this level may resist authority, challenge rules, and question the coach's decisions.

Mentoring Approach: Focus on building trust and communication. Understand their perspective, and guide them towards positive behaviors. Establish clear expectations and consequences.


Characteristics: Obedient players follow instructions without questioning, but may lack initiative and creativity.

Mentoring Approach: Encourage them to think independently, make decisions, and take ownership of their development. Provide opportunities for them to express their ideas and preferences.


Characteristics: Compliant players conform to expectations but may lack enthusiasm or motivation.

Mentoring Approach: Foster intrinsic motivation by connecting their personal goals with team objectives. Provide positive reinforcement and recognition for their efforts. Encourage them to find joy in the process.


Characteristics: Cooperative players actively contribute to the team, work well with others, and are open to feedback.

Mentoring Approach: Continue to emphasize teamwork and collaboration. Recognize and reward their positive behaviors. Offer constructive feedback to help refine their skills and enhance their contribution to the team.


Characteristics: Committed players show dedication, work hard, and consistently strive to improve.

Mentoring Approach: Provide advanced training and challenges to keep them engaged. Acknowledge their commitment and help them set ambitious yet achievable goals. Foster a sense of accountability and responsibility for their own development.


Characteristics: Passionate players display an intense love for the sport, consistently go above and beyond, and inspire others.

Mentoring Approach: Nurture their passion by providing opportunities for leadership roles. Encourage them to mentor others, setting an example for the team. Support their aspirations for higher-level competition or coaching roles.

Understanding where each player falls on this engagement spectrum allows you to tailor your mentoring approach to meet their specific needs, ultimately fostering a positive and growth-oriented team environment.

29 views0 comments


bottom of page