Coaching Volleyball Magazine October / November 2015 - Page 16

14 | October/November 2015 | COACHING VOLLEYBALL Engaging not only the administration in your program but also faculty and students can really help create a sense of community. Think about doing things like having faculty act as honorary coaches. Special viral events such as last year’s ice bucket challenge are a great way to build on things that are already popular and reaching the general student population. Think about letting administrators or faculty travel with the team to an away game or something that allows them to see behindthe-scenes of your program and get to know they players in a way that they might not usually get to. For administrators that spend a lot of time in the office, engaging with the team on a personal level can help them better understand how they can make a direct impact on your program and the players that comprise it. That sense of making a true impact can be very rewarding for an administrator that doesn’t get to spend much time in the field. Don’t be afraid to do some basic teambuilding activities with administrators and athletes. Having the compliance folks, the training staff, the academic planners, etc. come and get to know the players and their personalities allows everyone to do their respective jobs better and adds a personal touch to routines that might otherwise seem mundane. People are more likely to go the extra mile when they can better understand the perspective of the others involved in a situation. Along those lines, do some volunteering. OKLA HOM A A THLETIC S come up working closely with student-athletes and may miss that bit of interaction, so helping with player issues directly may be a way to make them feel more engaged in a way that they’re comfortable with. Another administrator, however, may be more in tune with numbers and business-type decisions, and may feel as if they’re more engaged with you working through a budget issue or helping with planning. Once trust and strong communication is established, you can get down to the business of discussing the long-term vision for the program. Having big goals is important – but having a clear, established path for achieving those goals is how you’ll actually get there. Don’t be vague when meeting with your administration. Develop specific components of your program that will help you achieve the success that everyone wants and have a plan for how the administration can directly help you implement them. Have a timeline for success mapped out and see where you can work together to make things happen. Maybe it’s help with fundraising, such as meeting with boosters or making introductions for potential supporters. If you’re the head coach, think of yourself as the CEO of the program. As such, it’s your responsibility to have a clear vision for how the program should operate, the benchmarks that you’ll use to measure success and a definitive framework for the development of the student-athlete. Throughout the course of meeting with your administrators, this vision may fluctuate and grow depending on the available resources and the expectations of others in the department. That’s part of the process, but taking the initiative to be direct and purposeful goes a ۙ