Thursday, May 15, 2014

High School Coaches: 4 Rules for Helping An Athletic Banquet Go Smoothly



This time of the year is usually filled with athletic banquets. One after another!
 As a principal you might have to figure out how to be in three places at one time! If you are lucky they worked together and your athletic director coordinated the dates so that you could attend. If …you…are …lucky…sigh…
Now this is not really what I am going to focus on….those items are just part of the life of a principal…
Instead, let’s talk about the event.
As a principal I have attended many banquets… some of which I dreaded…Some I actually looked forward to…what was the difference? There were four common elements…

So, here are the 4 rules for helping an athletic banquet go smoothly…

Number 1: The coach cannot be in charge of the event

The coach or coaches cannot be in charge of the event. Matter of fact, there should be a parent committee that oversees the event. They are in charge of telling the coach where and when things happen.  He, she , or they have too much riding on this event (especially if the season was not too great…). Removing the coach from the responsibility means that you are on your first step to having a wonderful night!


Number 2: The Coach must know what she will say ahead of time.

Winging it... Talking off the cuff…whatever you want to call it…It is not allowed…
This type of action spells …
T-R-O-U-B-L-E
When the coach thinks that she knows everything she needs to know…watch out…this is the type of speech making that I fear the most…As a principal, it usually meant that I was going to get a call on Monday morning from the parent who was offended by the comment or joke, or I am going to hear from the parent or child who was left out ...name spelled wrong...you get the point...just fill in the blank...

The coach must know what she is going to say and not make detours and add something that was not practiced!


Number 3: Feed the people

Have you ever been to a wedding reception and they insist on waiting on the groom and bride prior to the friends and family eating or sampling the hors d’oeuvres? Well, if not the grumbling can get quite loud and will get worse the longer it takes. Some family and friends will actually leave…the same will happen at a banquet. Feed them. Make sure that they know whether it is cookies and punch or a real dinner (you know…lasagna or chicken).  But whatever you do…don’t let the coaches be in charge of this or you are assured of overhearing the following…”Ok…who brought the paper goods?” You brought a bag of chips and some frozen shrimp? What were you thinking?” “Your family's left over ham is not enough for 100 people!” “Two boxes of Coke are not enough for everyone…yeeesshhh!”
Give me long enough and I can recall even more very real, ulcer inducing comments.
As a note, make sure that the kids eat after the parents…if you want the parents to actually eat…that is…


Number 4: Follow a schedule and keep to it.

A parent should be assigned (who is not afraid of the coach)…This parent creates a schedule and explains how much time is allotted for each part of the evening. She reminds presenters and others that this is how much time they have and when they go. She makes sure that anyone talking understands that they should not go beyond their time frame or they should understand that death comes quickly.


Those are my four rules...I kid you not, if you want the evening to go smoothly…follow these four rules and all will be good…plus your principal will be happy. Can’t beat that!