I do not intend to give lessons or set a chair, just provide small advice to help coaches and sports directors in the development of their duties and in achieving their goals. These tips are the result of trial and error and therefore of the experience developed throughout my career and especially in recent years, in which I decided to "become independent" and be an entrepreneur (I have a special aim to choose the moment in which full global pandemic).
I hope they are helpful.
1. Clear objective: it should be the main thing when starting any sports project regardless of whether it is a non-profit sports society or, on the contrary, a commercial activity, it is important to know which sports and social sector to target, for what purpose , what coverage and what services we offer.
2. Different and innovative activity: perhaps the most difficult part of the process, it seems that everything has already been invented in the world of training, however, for our project or organization to be successful, we need to differentiate ourselves from the rest, from the “competition”. To do this, as personal advice, carefully analyze the context in which you work in
your teams to be able to extract what are the qualities or strong points that you have and be able to exploit them. I'll give you an example: in my case, when I started working in the triathlon teams that I currently manage and train, I realized that the running and swimming training sessions were very structured and organized, but curiously, the cycling training sessions were completely anarchic and aimless. Basically, the triathletes stayed among themselves (small groups due to friendship or closeness) to go out and ride doing the volume and intensity that they thought was appropriate or they felt like at that moment, regardless of the moment of planning in which we were or the type of week. that we were going to develop later (load, adjustment, impact or download), with the mess that this could cause in its performance. At that time I analyzed the needs of these teams and decided to offer a directed, organized and oriented activity
to improve the performance of each one of those triathletes, opening it to other cyclists who today are part of my Bestyourself Cycling cycling teams (you can see us on RRSS).
3. Defined and clear internal structure: a clear organization chart in which each position is defined, with its functions well specified and clear, in such a way that all the positions of the team, club or sports entity function as a well-geared engine, where all collaborate and work together without taking on foreign lands in order to achieve the main objective, the development and improvement of their athletes (at whatever level: amateur,
competitive, elite, etc.)
4. A clear marketing and advertising plan : this is essential for me today, both from the point of view of team growth and from the need to publicize our activities, objectives, achievements and our "road map". Nowadays, being present in social networks is essential to allow the development and growth of any sports entity. Having a person in charge of collecting audiovisual material from the training sessions and competitions that take place and periodically publishing these events is
it seems very necessary (I would dare to say almost mandatory).
5. Search for collaborators and sponsors: this point in the current times of economic crisis seems impossible. But I am telling you this from my own experience, looking for brands and companies related to the activity, presenting them with an attractive dossier and, above all, offering them an economic return on their investment in the medium or long term, even for those brands that initially do not seem to we can have direct synergies,
With the passage of time you will realize that you have a lot to offer and get from others. I will give you several examples: in our cycling teams we have brand sponsorship of sports supplementation, cycling and triathlon clothing, sports optics, physiotherapy clinic, mechanics workshop, bike repair and sale workshop and cafeteria, each and every one of them they collaborate with us and make us grow and in return we return the favor, both by using their services and by advertising on social networks and the equipment we wear.
6. Motivational plan for our athletes: with which it is falling this is another of the points to highlight in capital letters. Athletes (and anyone nowadays) are very punished by the circumstances; restrictions, illnesses, lack of competition, etc. It is necessary for us as coaches and organizers to look for alternatives to this
overwhelming context. You can create a calendar of your own events, such as special training where both sports practice and attendance at talks are combined (in any field; coaching, nutrition, stretching, strength work, mechanics, improvements to training, planning, etc. .). Another option is “cycling” outings or competitions such as time trials and team time trials, all exclusively for our athletes (or even for those outside our groups as long as we are interested and the health protocols are guaranteed), where we offer them a dossier of the activity , program, aid stations, marked route, assistance car, broom car, etc., any element that comes to mind that can give value to the activity and can make up for that lack of “official” competitions.
7. “Special” end-of-season events or even during the season: Having an “end-of-season” goal of your own can help us set performance improvement goals among our own. In our teams we offer our cyclists and triathletes two or three events that we organize in the parts of the season where we are interested in reaching a good peak of form (April-May and June-July) and where we also have summer periods to organize a trip away from the residence
usual (Madrid) where they take them to concentration with the team for several days, that is enough to keep them motivated and eager throughout the year, so you can get an idea. During Easter we go 4 days to train with the bike, in June we do a one-week cycling and triathlete concentration and in July we go one more week with the bike, making it coincide with a professional cycling tour. As you will guess, they are intensive trainings where we take the opportunity to train them also theoretically through talks, we carry out other sports activities such as trekking, mtb and we also give good strokes of leisure with SPA, rafting, etc.
8. Look for extra funding: municipalities offer aid and subsidies to municipal clubs and non-profit entities. Some private entities also offer grants to sports schools (such as one of my gurus, Chema Arguedas, who offers a grant of up to €3,000 to projects that develop cycling schools in Spain). of your city council and autonomous community as well as the regional and national federations of cycling, triathlon, etc.
9. Take out accident and civil liability insurance: that covers all coaches and team personnel and all athletes (the latter, it is best to have the corresponding federative license), in this way we can train and compete peace of mind knowing that we will be covered against any (hopefully
no) vicissitude or accident that we may suffer. Do not take this disbursement in insurance as an expense but as an element of well-being and tranquility for all.
10. And finally: Although I have left it for the end, it is probably the most important of all the pieces of advice: do not get tired of training, of investigating, of thinking about how to improve, of analyzing virtues and defects and, above all, of listening to your athletes, is the best and only way to offer a more complete and personalized service that truly attends to the needs and concerns of your athletes. Recurrently ask for the opinion of
those to whom you offer your services, listen to them and change, for them it will mean that you care and bother to serve them and for you, the success and growth of your activity.
I hope that these tips that I offer you will help you in your future as head of a sports team, believe me, I understand your concerns and difficulties (I myself suffer through them), the road is not easy and is full of obstacles and on top of that, few people are capable of seeing the great efforts that we must make so that the projects go ahead and develop little by little. As you and I well know, we are not doing this out of recognition, but to offer others just a small part of what sport has given us over the years and that, my friends, is… WONDERFUL.
If you need help to guide your preparation or are looking for a coach who can guide you to face the new season, I will be happy to help you, contact me without obligation at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or on my website: www.bestyourselfcycling .com
Author : Manuel Brihuega Jiménez - Technical director and trainer.