There’s a post from the AVCA blog that offers some advice from administrators to coaches. It’s about how we can grow as professionals away from the court. I think it’s worth a quick read because there are some valuable ideas, especially for college level coaches. In this post, though, I want to speak to a general concept that comes from that article.
Administrators don’t just care about what you do on the court.
I alluded to this in the When winning doesn’t matter post. Let me go a bit deeper here.
Management of an organization like a school or a club thinks mainly in terms of that larger organization. Yes, they definitely narrow their focus from time to time to concentrate on one specific team. Generally speaking, though, they spend their days working on more collective things.
At least it’s supposed to work that way. Often it doesn’t, however, because of issues at the team level.
This is something we need to keep in mind. Our job as coaches is to direct our program to the benefit of everyone in it. The management of the broader organization (Athletic Director, Club Director, etc.) is there to direct things in a way that benefits everyone in all programs. The degree to which you contribute to and/or detract from that will influence your job security, recommendations for future positions, etc.
So, first and foremost we don’t want to be a source of problems – especially problems without solutions. Don’t be a complainer. I’m sure you hate having players like that. Flip that around and think about how your boss would feel if all you do it gripe about things.
Second, find ways to contribute to the organization outside your team/program. Obviously, our first priority is to make sure things are operating optimally internally with our players, staff, etc. If we really want our administration to think well of us, though, we need to find ways to help out with bigger picture things. That means going above and beyond our assigned duties.
If you want a long, positive career – either with a single institution or with a strong set of references to carry without as you move up the ladder – keep these two things in mind.
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