Administrative Role in Modern Athletics
The popularity of sports and the increasing number of individuals participating has grown steadily over the past four decades. In high school sports alone, there has been over a 50% increase in total participants between male and female athletes combined from 1971 to 2009 (Masteralexis, 2012). With this type of hyper growth and popularity, organized athletics presents challenges in the ability manage, administer, and develop proper personal to create successful sport programs. Participating in organized athletics can and should be a positive experience but is very dependent on those individuals that are leading. Depending on the size of the organization, the leader may be the athletic director, coach, administrator, and equipment manager. For those athletic departments with profitable budgets each of those positions might be held by one individual. Therefore, it is imperative that sporting programs that desire to succeed must be well organized, have mature coaches, be fiscally responsible, have supportive staff and parents, a written policy, and be effective in communicating the objectives, goals, and mission.
Tools of Success
In the traditional sense, a leader is someone that holds a position or title within an organization. The speed of growth of the organization rises or falls on the guidance of this leader (Maxwell, 2005). In the case of an athletic director, there are many students and coaches that are dependent that he or she makes the right choices in developing a successful physical education and athletic program. The strengths of and athletic director may differ from one school to the next. There are at least six major areas that need to be focused on by an athletic director in order to develop a department to a high level. Those areas are performance evaluation of coaches, development of the policy manual, office management, effective oral and written communication, financial budgeting and directing productive staff meetings. Of these six, the top three of importance in order of the difference between a good program verses a great program are being an effective communicator in written and oral form, evaluation of coaches, and staying within the departments financial budget.
To be an effective athletic director, the ability and art of communicating is essential (Jensen, 2003). Communication can be broken down into oral, written, and how an individual comes across with their body language. There has been extensive research on communication and how much of it is verbal and non-verbal. Experts agree that the non-verbal (body language, voice tones) portion of communication falls in a range of 70% to 80% and the remaining is voice or articulation of words. Mastering each is very important as being the leader of a high profile department within a school, the athletic director must be able to communicate to administration, teachers, coaches, students and parents...