From childhood through adulthood, everyone always seems to ask "Are you listening?" In life, as well as in sports, listening skills are at least as important, if not more so, as communicating skills. In sports, player listening starts with an attitude and ends with an action.
Before players can listen, they must be first be ready to listen. No player is good enough or smart enough to have it all figured out. If this were the case, then professional sports teams wouldn't require coaches. Players must have an attitude that allows them to hear how to do things better or differently, no matter what level their skill or experience.
With a good attitude as a start, the next step is for players to listen and analyze comments. An instruction from a coach that a player hasn't thought about is fairly easy to process. However, if a player is hearing something that the player thinks is already being done, it may be time for a talk with the coach. There may be a miscommunication between coach and player that requires more discussion.
The last step in sports listening is doing. Putting into practice the things a player hears is the only way for coaches to determine if players listen and the message is understood.