From the Trenches: Part 6

In this series, we dive into the various issues that athletic directors face and offer up strategies to thrive in the face of these challenges.

From the Trenches: Part 6

The Issues Facing Education Based Athletics & Strategies for Today's Athletic Administrators

By Brent Buttjer and Scott Garvis, CMAA, Bound AD in Residence

Editors Note: This is a mutli-part series offering insight on the most pressing issues facing education based athletics and how they can best be addressed.

Part 6: Lack of Support from Maintenance, Facility, and Grounds Staff

This can have a major impact on the success of athletic programs, as these staff members are responsible for ensuring that facilities and equipment are in good working order for practices and games. When these individuals do not prioritize athletic programs or are not available to address issues, it can create major challenges for athletic directors.

  1. Develop relationships and lines of communication: Athletic directors should take the time to build relationships with maintenance, facility, and grounds staff members. They should meet with them regularly to discuss any concerns or issues and work together to find solutions. By developing open lines of communication, athletic directors can ensure that staff members understand the importance of athletic programs and the impact that they have on the school community.
  2. Provide training and resources: It is important for athletic directors to provide training and resources to maintenance, facility, and grounds staff members. This may include workshops or classes on maintenance and repair techniques specific to athletic equipment and facilities. Athletic directors should also provide staff members with the necessary tools and equipment to properly maintain and repair athletic facilities and equipment.
  3. Recognize and appreciate staff members: Athletic directors should recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of maintenance, facility, and grounds staff members. This can include publicly acknowledging their contributions at school events, providing incentives for exceptional performance, and offering opportunities for professional development and advancement.
“The role of our maintenance, facility, and grounds staff play in creating a safe and functional environment for our athletes. However, in the face of lack of support, we must remember that our true measure of success lies not in the obstacles we face, but in the determination and perseverance we demonstrate in overcoming them. Let us lead by example, fostering a culture of collaboration, communication, and respect, and working together to achieve our goals despite any challenges that may arise."
~ Brent Buttjer

About Scott Garvis, CMAA, Bound AD in Residence

Scott Garvis has been a leader and innovator in intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics development and fundraising for more than 25 years – as an athletics director, coach, association board member, adviser and editorial contributor.

Scott has a record of excellence as Athletics Director, Director of Activities and Assistant Principal, having led the athletics departments at six high schools or school districts in three states.  He has achieved unparalleled success at all levels of high school athletics: large public school districts, a small public high school, a private school, and with state and national athletics administrator associations.