What is "trust," exactly?
Why the way we've been taught to think about it actually f*cks us up
The buzziest buzzword in all of sports: trust.
The idea that you need to trust your teammates, trust your coaches, trust your training… trust is everywhere. And nowhere is the idea of trust more important than in the context of interpersonal relationships, between players, coaches, and staff.
But what is trust, exactly?
A wonder that it hasn’t lost all its meaning, trust is one of the most significant aspects of team performance but has been overplayed and misused as a manipulation tactic as much as a performance enhancer. Entry into almost any sporting environment starts with the idea that the new person must “build” or “earn” the trust of their teammates or peers before they can be accepted into the group. They’re told to blindly trust their coaches and their training, but that same treatment is rarely reciprocated early on.
Trust is treated this way because it’s built on a shaky foundation. It’s one of those things that we “feel” but don’t really know how to explain. Most of us know what it feels like to trust someone, and all of us know what it feels like to have trust broken. We lack any real scientific understanding of what it means to trust, how trust is built or broken, and why it’s so significant to performance.
Let’s change that.
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