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6 Leadership Skills for Sports Administration at Every Level

Sports are a significant part of culture and business in the United States. Sport administrators are essential members of sport organizations — from public schools to professional leagues.

If you’ve always wanted to work in the world of sports, an online Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation — Sports Administration from St. Thomas University may set you apart to achieve your dreams. A sports administrator is responsible for scheduling and organizing sporting events, supervising recruitment and hiring staff. They’re also in charge of fundraising, marketing, promotion, managing the budget for uniforms or equipment and fulfilling administrative duties such as answering phones and responding to emails.

Sports administrators are also important members of sports clubs, and employment opportunities for these professionals exist in public secondary schools, private sports clubs, community centers, amateur leagues, colleges and universities and professional sports leagues.

Important Leadership Skills for Sports Administrators

Successful sports administrators have specific skills that enable them to be effective leaders. They motivate their staff and athletes, clearly communicate, are flexible and adaptable, can delegate responsibilities and are open to suggestions and feedback. Here are six crucial leadership skills that sports administrators use to inspire and ensure success at all levels:

  1. Communication. Having excellent written and communication skills is a must in sports administration. A leader needs to clearly explain instructions in every facet of communication, from one-on-one in-person interactions to large meetings to email and phone conversations. Impactful leaders are also good listeners. A sports administrator who employs active listening skills when discussing concerns with staff members keeps all lines of communication open.
  2. Conflict management. Effectively resolving conflict can help sports administrators successfully manage workplace issues, such as two groups that want to use a facility at the same time or athlete/coach disagreements. Patient and clear conflict resolution skills can ensure strong professional relationships within the organization.
  3. Adaptability. Exceptional leaders can be flexible with last-minute changes and take it in stride. Likewise, staff and athletes will appreciate the ability to solve problems and be open to suggestions.
  4. Time management. Working efficiently and maintaining focus motivates staff and athletes to do the same. A student athlete’s ability to balance athletic and academic responsibilities carries over into their professional and personal lives. Setting goals, staying focused, avoiding distractions and maintaining open communication are successful time management skills administrators can model.
  5. Creativity. A sports administrator may face problems that may not have a clear solution. Being able to think outside the box, approach an issue in a non-traditional way and devise creative solutions is inspirational for athletes and staff.
  6. Analytical skills. Analytical skills involve the ability to problem solve, analyze information and make informed decisions. Sports administrators who have these analytical skills can solve problems and improve performance at any level. Taking new information, brainstorming, interpreting data, detecting patterns and making decisions are analytical approaches to solving issues a sports program may face.

Next Steps

The online Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation — Sports Administration program from St. Thomas University can help students gain a solid foundation for marketing initiatives and sports management techniques. Students will expand their knowledge of sports-related legal systems, sports administration, the changing needs of sports organizations and leadership skills that maximize performance. Some career opportunities include positions in professional sports organizations, college-level trainers, athletic coaches and youth organization managers, to name a few.

Learn more about St. Thomas University’s Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation — Sports Administration online program.


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