Pat Reliy coached five championship teams in the NBA. Chuck Daly possessed an uncanny knack for picking powerful players, unsurprisingly resulting in him having never coached a losing team (with the exception of one). Daryl Morey managed to build the Houston Rockets team into one that has set numerous team records over the last six seasons because he is a man who is acutely aware of the power of statistical analysis behind games, using it to develop a more intuitive understanding of play. Combine these three powerful skillsets and you’ve got a recipe for success. But can they be defined under one umbrella term, ‘project management’?
The Underestimated Power Of Project Management
What do all of these men have in common? Certainly, undeniably, there is passion, a common gift of leadership and vision, a tactical mind. More than anything, though, the coach approaches each season, each game, like a project management job. Definite outcomes are set, which need to be achieved within a certain time frame. Then, the planning takes place, and the key role players to carry out this plan are determined.
Why Managing a Team Is Like Working On A Project
Managing a sports team is not a job for the light-hearted. As a manager, there are a set of qualities that you need to possess in order to ensure success. Of all these qualities, the most obvious is leadership. A manager has to instil confidence, a winning belief and a sense of unity into their team. As such, the manager, though example, works to inspire the team and demand respect, through action. Next, human relationship skills are equally vital – particularly due to the fact that sports is such a physical sport, and the human relationship aspect may be overlooked. Most sportsmen are relatively young at their peak, and the toughest part of a manager’s job would be to act as a mentor, a supporter and a motivator. Tactical awareness is another vital skill required by a manager – not only does a manager need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of his own team, but he also needs to foresee the strengths and weaknesses of his opposition and to visualise possible opposition tactics. This requires tactical awareness in game, where the manager would be required to make personnel or formation changes in order to gain the tactical upper hand.
Perhaps they are visionaries, perhaps it’s something a lot simpler than that. Whatever it takes, it’s certainly worth noting that the most influential managers in sport, whether it be baseball, football or hockey, are always brilliant at tackling the task at hand, not allowing themselves to get lost in the noise.