Coaches are usually focused on the on-court performance of the team and the many factors that can impact that. In that focus, they often forget the importance of maintaining good communication with the administrators of the club.

Often, administrators relay messages that the coach is unhappy about (e.g. players are unavailable for practice because of sponsor commitments, a practice venue is unavailable, etc.), but having a good relationship with the club administrators is important.

The following are some considerations in developing a good relationship with administrators:

  • Don’t just speak to administrators when you want something. Take the time to get to know them. Often, administrators are involved in sport because they are passionate about the sport – if that’s the case, talk to them about how the team is going;
  • Say “please” and “thank you” and listen more than you speak;
  • Understand that what is a high priority for the team or coach may be only one of a number of competing priorities that the administrator is dealing with – the better the relationship the coach has with administrators, the more likely that they will put other matters aside to assist the coach;
  • When asked to do something, find ways to be able to do it rather than reasons not to do it;
  • Understand that when an administrator has bad news it may be because there are factors that are out of their control. Take the time to understand what pressures they are under and discuss with them whether there are other options that could be explored;
  • If incidents occur (or mistakes are made) notify administrators as soon as possible. It is far better that they hear about incidents from the coach than from parents or the media.
  • In many clubs the administrators are volunteers who will have limited time, balanced around their other commitments. Give them as much notice as possible when you require something.