That way, the coach shows care for his athlete as well as for results.
Modern coaching terminology calls this an athlete-centred approach - where the coach stands the athlete, and his or her interests and welfare, at the very centre of things at all times.
Gatland is not one for jargon. He prefers to call a scrum, a scrum. He does, though, believe in looking after his players and regards his personal relationship with them as the key to everything else.
"The toughest thing in coaching is getting that relationship right," he says. "You want players to feel on edge about selection and performance, but not about themselves.
"They should feel they have done everything they can to be successful and you as a coach have helped them do that. If they are unsuccessful in reaching their goals, then they can be comfortable they went through all the right processes."
Gatland will name his final squad of 31 players for the World Cup in Japan the morning after that last game in Cardiff. Even that, he says, will be handled in a way that makes the rejection feel a little easier to stomach.
"It's always the toughest thing for a coach - selection and the disappointment of players who will miss out," he adds.
"That's the challenge. We've already spoken to the players about how the World Cup squad will be selected and how they want to find out. Is it a phone call? Text? Email? Or WhatsApp?
"Obviously, however we deliver that we will follow it up with conversations. We've gone through that process and they will all know what's going to happen and what to expect."
Gatland may be going, but his progressive approach to coaching, with the emphasis on a healthy relationship with his athletes, is not going to disappear with him.
A succession of football coaches in Wales, both at club and international level, have attempted to pick his brains - something former Wales football manager Chris Coleman was happy to acknowledge influenced his thinking ahead of Euro 2016.
The younger generation of coaches, too, are eager to stress the need for an approach that looks at the broader picture of an athlete's welfare.
Steve Cooper, Swansea City's young Welsh manager - who guided England to a World Cup triumph at U17 level - in another advocate of seeing the bigger picture.
"We are dealing with young people who all want to succeed in their sport, but the odds of that happening are not in their favour," says Cooper.
"So, what's important for a coach is to make the player feel his worth as a person, as an individual, is not defined by their success or failure on the field.
"If they concentrate on training hard, learning, listening, doing their best, and being positive and supportive around their teammates, keeping things in perspective, then that contributes to the right atmosphere.
"If success comes out of that, then that's a happy bonus. But they should judge themselves on how they go about things day-by-day - not by the outcome."