By: Todd Gulluscio, CIAA, CMAA - Shelter Island Union Free School District (NY) and Kathy Masterson, CMAA - Westhampton Beach Union Free School District (NY)
There are two basic concepts that can help you to be an effective leader for your athletic department that has limited staff and resources. The first is the ability to build relationships with others, both locally in your school and through your various professional organizations.
Your national, regional, state, and local athletic administrator associations have a vast number of services, information, and coursework that can give you the tools to successfully lead your department.
In addition, getting involved in those professional organizations helps you to form relationships with other athletic directors and builds your professional network. Locally in your district, relationship building is essential to the ability to put the best program forward for your student athletes. Everyone from clerical to security wants and needs to be a part of the team. As the relationships are fostered, the ability to delegate with trust will also be developed. This leads to a more effective model of running an athletic department.
The second concept is to have and develop effective time management skills. Figuring out a calendar system that works for you and leveraging technology systems that handle everything from schedules to registration are just a few ever-developing tools designed to assist you.
How you utilize the time saved by technology is also key. Making sure the perception others have of your priorities is consistent with what you want it to be. This is essential to having outside support. If others don't view that you prioritize, they won't as well.
Most of that perception of priority is developed through what is visible to them. For example, making time for students that are at your door shows both the student and those that are present that students come first for you as a priority.
Also, being visible at events is important. Developing time management skills gives you time to get out of the office and out to the events that are most likely the largest attended events by the community in your district. Having the time to make sure the details are covered provides the best experience for student athletes. It also gives a polished view to the attendees and is a result of time saved from not being bogged down in ineffective practices and tasks.
We hope a few of these ideas help you maximize the potential you have as a leader in athletics and have a positive impact on your program.