Major League Baseball has employed 10 commissioners over the past 95 years, beginning with Kenesaw Mountain Landis in 1920 and continuing through Rob Manfred, who recently took over after the 23-year tenure of Bud Selig. History—and plenty of baseball fans—has judged these commissioners’ successes and failures. All 10 operated with the best interest of the game at heart. And in this way, MLB’s commissioners are similar to the thousands of sports league administrators across North America who are striving to provide an exceptional experience for participating families.
Though a league manager might not have the high profile of the commissioner of baseball, to their organizations, directors are just as important. Coaches, parents, and officials look to them for guidance, leadership, and answers. Many of these admins are constantly striving to improve their performance and the operation of the organizations they run. Here are four things a league manager can do to increase his or her success:
1. Simplify registration
The registration process every season often is a bottleneck that interferes with the success of a league manager. All those paper registrations take time to sort through. Then, organizing players into teams takes more time and often incurs the wrath of parents who can’t understand why their child isn’t on the same team as their neighbors. And don’t forget the effort needed to track and cash hundreds of checks. Online league management software simplifies all these processes and fosters success for a league manager. Registration occurs without piles of paperwork. Team formation is automated and can be set to effortlessly honor teammate and coach requests. Finally, payment can be made via credit card, thus easing bookkeeping responsibilities and eliminating all those trips to the bank.
2. Be a good communicator
Informing coaches and parents about postponements, schedule revisions, rules changes, and league-wide events is essential to a successful organization. Administrators try, but often, they don’t have the tools to excel at this communication. Online software solves this problem by allowing a league manager to easily email or text families, coaches, and officials from any device, including smartphones. If a Saturday’s worth of games is rained out, an admin can get the message out to the entire organization in a couple easy steps—and with plenty of time to spare.
3. Keep everything updated
Standings and statistics uploaded to a website are nice features that enhance leagues. However, online schedules that are current are far more important to a successful organization. Parents rely on this information to plan their lives, so keeping calendars and schedules updated is a must. The best online league management software makes the updating process a cinch for schedules, standings, and statistics.
4. Emphasize the kids
With all the responsibilities—and stress—the average league manager puts up with, the fact anyone would volunteer for the job is amazing. But administrators know that all their effort is more than worth it if the kids in their organization come away from each practice, game, and season happy and inspired. This is the true measure of success with any league, and as long as managers keep their emphasis on the enjoyment and education of their players, they will never be a failure.
What do you think is the most important way to be a successful league manager?