• By Bob Peterson
  • 29 Jun, 2016

Let’s face it, there are thousands of people that dream of working in sports.   For many, the hardest part is merely getting that first opportunity.   My opinion is that whether you are new to this career or a crusty veteran you should always be growing and developing new skills that contribute to your team or department.   Ten years ago Social Media didn’t exist and now it is a daily part of the athletic world.   I assure you that some sports leaders recognize this and embrace the challenge of utilizing Social Media and others simply choose to ignore it.   Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss.   A focus on your personal growth and the growth of your department is critical to your long term success.   With that in mind consider the following guiding principles:

  1. Show Up Every Day   – Working in Athletics/Sports is a grind.   Working nights and weekends is the norm. Working multiple games/events in a week is commonplace.   Get used to it and show up on time(or early) every day eager to work on the next project.   This is particularly important in the off season.   Making use of the time when you have no games insures that you’ll be prepared when you do.

  2. Keep Improving   – Improving isn’t hard when you are new to a job.   There is so much to learn and so much room for growth.   Truly, you should always be looking for opportunities to grow and improve at what you do. College Athletics is fortunate in that there is no shortage of folks who are willing to share ideas and no shortage of opportunities for professional development.   Find a mentor or peer that you can rely on. Someone that you can call to bounce ideas off of or who will just listen and encourage you during those difficult times.   Get involved in NACDA, NACWAA or another professional association.   Aspire to not only be involved in this group but to one day lead it.   Never stop learning and never stop striving to improve what you do.

  3. Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver   – This was the first piece of advice that I got in sports and I think that it is so important.   Always deliver what you promise.   Whether dealing with a coach, sponsor, administrator, or donor, you are only as good as your word.   Get in the practice of over-delivering and you’ll find that these important constituents will reward you for your efforts.

  4. Overachieve   – Particularly early in your career it’s important to separate yourself from the pack.   Find a way to stand out.   Don’t be satisfied with merely meeting the expectations of your superiors.   You know the goals of the organization….exceed them.   The longer you’ve worked in sports the better prepared you are to perform at a very high level.   Keep growing and keep achieving…..the competition and need never ends.   Make your organization better!

  5.   Inspire Others   – We are only as good as the people around us.   Lead by example, give credit where it is due, find the good in others and inspire them to join you in your pursuits.   Success requires a leader with vision, but more importantly a team committed to seeing that vision through to completion.   Communicate your goals, inspire others to action, and work beside them every step of the way.

In work and in life there is always room for refinement and improvement.   How are you getting better at what you do today?

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