Most of us are a volunteer in sports management, and were drawn in as either a parent, former athlete, official or perhaps even a sponsor. Although sports are not the same in every country, I am absolutely convinced that we have quite some common issues that we deal with on a continuous basis.
You are part of a team/board/committee of 5,6 or 7 people, but there are only one or two persons doing all the work. The reasons behind this can be different, but in NGO’s (Non Governmental Sports Organizations) this happens a lot.
A SOLUTION: In management there is this saying “lead by example”. So if we translate this to our sports arena, this means that the top (we as managers) should practice good teamwork, so that our followers (teams, athletes, coaches) follow our example.
Have you ever heard your colleague(s) say “The lack of funds is the main reason why our sports organization cannot develop further”?
A SOLUTION: Sports activities cost money, that is a fact. But in lots of cases there are other, more structural reasons for a sports organization to be stuck with their development. The before mentioned lack of teamwork could be one of them. Another one can be the absence of a long-term plan, or even not having the right persons for the right position. Think of any team sport….you may have the best athletes, but if they’re not in the right position, the performance will be bad!
You or your colleague is blamed of taking management decisions, with the only focus to benefit your child who is one of the (top) athletes.
A SOLUTION: Normally parents take management or leadership positions in sports organization, to be involved in the child’s recreational life, or just to help out. There is a danger however, that outsiders only see this situation in such a way that the parents main aim is to benefit their child. Although this may be sometimes the case, just imagine that all parents will no longer be involved in sports management…..where would our sports be?
We should prevent possible situations of Conflict of Interest. The easiest way to start with this, is to agree within your team, that whenever a decision should be taken, that effects anyone close, the board member in question will not be part of the process that leads to the decision.
I am sure that there are plenty of other signs that most of us will recognize during our role in sports management. If you have any to share, please leave them in the comment section below.