A Team Manager is really the most important person within a program. The Team Manager makes all the logistics that go into the behind the scenes and just general running of a program come together. For many coaches however relying on a single person so much can be challenging and in many ways be difficult as their relationship is one of being a peer unlike all others within the team setting where the coach is the leader in many instances.
This difference in relationship can mean that there are some special challenges faced when working with a Team Manager unlike any other person. So with the added weight of the responsibility around this position, it can be quite challenging in some ways for a coach to get the most from the Team Manager especially if there are issues that arise throughout the course of a season. Below are some simple ways a coach can go about building a good foundation so when issues do arise they can be dealt with, worked out and moved through as quickly as possible.
Probably the most common issue around the Team Manager position is communication. Either too much, or not enough in some instances. No matter the concern the most beneficial approach is to talk through the expectations around action associated with communication that the coach would like to see happen. Being clear about what type of communication should happen, and when, is a very common frustration experienced by coaches.
It is worth noting that some Team Manager will prefer to use different methods of communication as opposed to others. Understanding that a different form of communication does not necessarily mean a less satisfactory outcome is also important to realise. It should always be discussed however with a team what their preference is in receiving information. For some people the best form of communication is a direct call.
Training sessions like each different activity a team is involved with will have a unique set of demands for a Team Manager. Not every coach will operate in the same way. Some coaches for instance see a training session as being very much their time to hold court and so therefore do not really need a Team Manager to attend (especially in junior development teams). This situation however often changes as players’ progress into representative programs or older age groups. Then the expectations can be quite different with coaches also expecting the Team Manager to bring certain skills like strapping to the range of services provided in support of a team. If a Team Manager does not have these skills then sometimes formal training will be required.
Game Day Preparations
On Game Day, most coaches will have a preference as to how they would like the days schedule to come together. How long before a game should players arrive, how is the room to be set-up for the team meeting and when should players be dressed are just a sample of the different points which need to be communicated between a coach and the Team Manager. Taking the time to discuss these matters in detail can avoid any issues from happening.
As a coach it is probably worth noting here that sometimes preferences will change and situations will demand an alternative strategy. Always be mindful of discussing these changes in need with a Team Manager so they are always kept in the loop.
A Team Manager is a very valuable asset to the operations of any team or program. The common mistake made is that often coaches just assume that how they want things done, is how everybody does them.