As have many of you, I recently underwent a week of teacher in-service training here at Victory Baptist Academy. For many schools, in-service week is a dreaded time of mandatory meetings and supposed preparation for the upcoming school year. However, our administrator, Matt Ticzkus, is well connected and always has fantastic speakers lined up for our staff each year. (he reads the blog, so I’m scoring brownie points here) This week we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Phil Johnson of Global Next speak on a variety of topics. However, one of his lectures really connected with me. The notes from that lecture really got me thinking about how I coach and lead today’s generation of athletes: Generation Z.
Do you want your athletic department to make some money? Of course you do! Hosting athletic events is the best way to bolster your athletic budget. If it wasn’t for the athletic events that we hosted each year at VBA, our athletic department would drop into the red by mid basketball season. Last week we gave you the first four tips for hosting athletic events. Today we round out the list with the final four.
One of the best ways to raise money for each sport or for your athletic department as a whole is by hosting athletic events. This isn’t a big secret. Every coach and athletic director gets multiple emails and phone calls inviting their teams to tournaments, jamborees, and meets every season. The key, however, to making these events work for you is the execution. Anyone can get a bunch of teams together in one place to play, but the execution of your plan is what ultimately makes the event successful for you.
When I first arrived in Texas I was very surprised by the amount of Christian schools (including ours) that rely on participation from home school athletes in order to field an athletic department. I definitely had mixed feelings about the situation. You can read more about how this policy can affect your athletic department in a previous article. However, today we’d like to look at a more specific angle. How do you include home school athletes in your team?
Our school hired a new teacher/coach for the upcoming school year. I’m very excited, but also kind of bummed out. Since the new coach is coming, I won’t be needed as much in some of our sports. While I look forward to the freeing up of my schedule, I’m a little hesitant to step out of some of the sports that I had been coaching. Most of this is because I’m a control freak, but another huge reason is that I truly enjoy interacting with young people in an athletic setting. I hate thinking that I might be losing opportunities to make an impact.
Ah, parents. They are a major part of our athletic departments. With them we can do great things. Without them, we probably get fired. If you google the phrase “athletic director and parents” most of the first responses are tips on how to “deal with” parents. (full disclosure: we’ve written a few articles in this tone as well) While there are some parents that we definitely have to “deal with,” we would rather learn how to “work with” the parents of our athletes. It is for this reason that you as the AD need to know the pulse of your parents.
In the final installment of our “When Culture Doesn’t Click Series” we look at some steps that you can take after you have completed the analysis stage. Once you’ve taken the appropriate time to address the personal, relational, and public reasons of why the desired athletic culture isn’t taking hold in your athletic department, you need to begin to move forward.
This is the second article in this series. The goal is to help those of us who have been trying to establish or fix the culture of the athletic departments at our Christian schools. In the first article we talked about the need to keep things in perspective by not panicking. We also highlighted the need for relaxation in order to help us as athletic directors fight the daily battle of culture change. In today’s post we look to help you get to the root of why positive athletic culture didn’t click in your school’s athletic department.
We have talked a fair amount about the culture of your athletic department. Developing a positive athletic culture is the most important thing that the athletic director can do. It takes leadership skills and extra work that many would deem unnecessary. The culture of a Christian school athletic department is especially important as we seek to use athletics to point our athletes to Christ. Unfortunately, though, despite the efforts of the athletic director and coaches, sometimes culture just doesn’t click. Then what?
For today’s Media Monday post we’d like to direct our readers to the Hardwood Hustle podcast. Bob Jones University athletic director and men’s basketball coach Neal Ring sits down with Alan and Adam to talk hoops, athletic directing, and more. Check it out! It’s a great listen.