Whether it is for high school or young children, if you are an athletic director, it can be tough to manage all the athletic programs within your school. There are coaches, staff, and students to work with, plan for, and organize. This is a daunting task; however, with planning, organization, and strong leadership characterization, athletic program management can become much easier for directors. In this article, we’ll offer up some tips that you can use to better manage your athletic programs and ensure that you, your athletes, and your staff will have a positive experience.
Create visions and set goals for your athletic department.
One of the best possible ways to organize an athletic department is to start with your vision and goals for the program. The vision should be the main reason why your athletic program exists, with the goals acting as the building blocks that build the program up over the long run. Ask yourself: What should this department aim to accomplish for young people participating in each program? What are the benefits of athletic competition? What steps can be taken to ensure that your athletic department is a top pick and a great choice for children or adolescents seeking to participate in sports for the long term?
The goals of your athletic department should be clear and attainable, focusing on the overall vision that you’ve created and the best way to stay true to that vision. These goals can include practicing the positive health effects of physical activity, improving the academic performance of students in the school district, and building the character traits of good people into students. Good athletic directors practice communication and flexibility and stand as role models for the students, coaches, and staff in their departments. Stay true to your vision and goals and roll with any impacts that may come.
Keep your department organized with SOPs and a storage company.
Finding a good storage solution at a convenient location with a good storage facility for your athletic department is a great choice. It is crucial to keep your department’s equipment, uniforms, and any other large items safe and secure from things like humidity and the weather with climate control. The best storage units for athletic departments have video surveillance and other security measures; they offer great monthly payments, no hidden fees, and offer long-term storage. Make sure the storage facility has affordability and easy access. A good idea is to seek out a large unit, with fair access hours so that you have enough time to move equipment between the facility and the school during sports seasons and games. Always check customer ratings of a storage facility’s amenities and its customer service when looking for a storage provider to achieve your best storage experience without the hassle of taking a chance and choosing the wrong space. As with any storage unit hunt, looking for a storage unit company that offers a first-time renter discount and finding a storage option with all needed amenities at an affordable price can’t hurt.
Visions and goals are key to maintaining the spirit of an athletic program, but the organization of the department keeps athletic programs on track and functioning. Developing and implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all aspects of the department is always a good idea. SOPs ensure that everyone in the department is aware of their responsibilities and should be provided to every member of the department in a format that is easy access. Types of SOPs can include forming game procedures, creating a budget, listing day-to-day operations, and upkeeping facility management. These SOPs and others like them can help athletic directors keep their departments running like a well-oiled machine.
Pursue grants and other funding opportunities.
As stated above, a good athletic department needs a budget. As the athletic director, one of your most important tasks is pursuing grants and funding for your department and your athletics programs. Grants can help offset the cost of equipment and game transportation, giving peace of mind to any athletic director who may struggle to get funding from the school district. Athletic directors can also look to corporate sponsorships and donations from the community to support athletic programs. Building partnerships with potential donors can alleviate the headache of fundraising and help secure future funding opportunities.
Consider budget options in maintaining the sports field.
Choosing play surfaces is a key component of athletic programs, and maintaining sports fields can take a lot out of an athletic department’s budget. One way to cut costs is to invest in artificial turf fields. In recent years, artificial grass has become increasingly popular as an alternative to natural grass for sports fields. An artificial turf field is durable and can go a long distance by way of use. Artificial turf requires less maintenance and is a convenient option when budgets are tight. Artificial turf can pose a costly installation fee, but it can also pay off over time, as artificial turf doesn’t need to be replaced as often as real grass.
Trust your gut.
As an athletic director, you do your best for your department with a degree of professionalism and care that builds a report with the community and students participating in the program. Management tips are at your fingertips, and the best ones will speak to your intuition, your goals, and your overall vision as an athletic director. This list is not exhaustive, but the tips here can help those in charge of athletics programs identify, address, and communicate the wide range of key areas that need attention to achieve success in an athletic department without much alarm.