Coaches and sports club managers know all too well that a lot hinges on how they can effectively manage – and, more importantly, motivate – their club and its members. Managing and operating a sports club isn’t for the weak, and you have to have the right amount of passion for the sport in order to dedicate a lot of time to it and its growth. But you have to achieve the right balance as well, especially when it comes to logistical tasks and responsibilities as well as motivating your players to give it their best every single time. It’s definitely not easy, but if you have the proper know-how and are aware of what works (and what doesn’t), it needn’t be a frustrating endeavour. Here’s how you can effectively manage – and motivate – your sports club and all its members.
The first thing to remember is setting clear yet realistic goals and objectives for your team. Know what to expect from them, be it in terms of effort, attitude, or techniques and tactics. Speak to every one of your players and get to know their characters and goals. You should actually make an effort to speak with each player at each game or session, even if you don’t talk about the game or sport – find out their dreams and ambitions and learn more about their lives outside the sports club as well.
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It is also important for you to praise your players more than criticise them, especially at integral moments. If you can’t avoid criticising, do so in a constructive way. In a similar vein, don’t forget to inject praise, particularly when you know they have tried their best. This is particularly useful if you are with youngsters. It is also best to stay as positive as you can – and try not to focus on the outcome, but the process itself. You – and everyone else – will have more fun this way.
Motivating the organisation
Motivating the entire club or organisation should also be one of your foremost priorities. The first aspect you should remember is that you can’t do it all yourself. Even if you think you can, it’s always better to get a few more people on the team who can help you get properly organised. An assistant referee is always a good partner, but if you can, find someone who has the right amount of skill and experience; if they don’t, have them go through a course so they know what they are doing and how to do it properly.
It also pays to hire an assistant, even if it is simply someone who can manage the team’s schedules, collect payments, and so on. The good news is, you can also get support and assistance from special club management software which allows you to make transactions, accept automated payments, send email updates, gain access to athletes’ profiles, set schedules, and so on. You can use this in conjunction with your assistant so you can both have a much easier time managing the club.
When working with parents, make sure to keep them informed – and involve them in the club as much as possible. You don’t need to have a contract with them, but you can ask them how they would like you to communicate with them, and make sure to listen objectively if they have any views or objections. Remember, you’re all in it together, so the more you work as one, the better it will be for the entire team.
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