February 2012 Archives

La traduction est en cours. Désolé. Many football organizations are currently looking for coaches, including the St-Lazare Stallions and the Île-Perrot Western Patriots. It's one of the many issues that amateur sports associations and charitable organizations face each year - finding enough personnel to do the work that needs to be done.

In fact, it's the one characteristic that most amateur sports associations have in common because it's definitely not the lack of money, even though they are all operated on a not-for-profit basis and funding is always a big concern. Also, it's not the lack of players because most of them have sufficient rosters due to the growing popularity of football. I can not speak for the rest of Quebec and I don't know what the situation is like in the rest of Canada, but in the Montreal area the most pressing need is finding enough coaches and volunteers (as well as referees).

It seems improbable that with so many players signing up to play and with such a large available pool of potential coaches and volunteers, football organizations struggle to find enough people to coach and to run their operations but that is the reality.

The obvious question to ask then is what is the reason for this situation and what can be done about it. Based on my own observations and discussions with many volunteers the answer is clear - there is a desperate lack of leadership and management practices to attract them and retain them. It may seem strange to talk about leadership and management practices in the context of usually small organizations that exist solely as the result of the efforts of dozens of people who work hard many hours every week without ever getting paid. Is it appropriate to analyze them in the context of their management capabilities? In fact, it is the most appropriate way to analyze it based on the information and the research that is available on this subject, and there is a lot of it. The source that I have found extremely useful is Peter Drucker, the researcher who laid the foundations for modern management principles and who has written many books on this subject. In the book "The Essential Drucker", which was published in 2005, he sums up the need to apply formal management practices this way:

Few executives are aware of the tremendous impact that management has had. They barely realize that they practice - or mispractice - management. As a result, they are ill prepared for the tremendous challenges that now confront them. To be sure, the fundamental task of management remains the same: to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure, and the training and development they need to perform and to respond to change. But the very meaning of this task has changed, if only because the performance of management has converted the workforce from one composed largely of unskilled laborers to one of highly educated knowledge workers.
"The Essential Drucker", Peter Drucker, page 10

La traduction est en cours. Désolé. Another one of his books which is targeted entirely at non-profit and charitable organizations, called "Managing the Non-Profit Organization", is still as valid as when it was written in 1990. It is a reference that every non-profit organization should have and should use. It should be required reading for every member who has a management role in such an organization.

Because all non-profit organizations rely so heavily on volunteer effort the next thing to consider is what factors help these organizations attract and retain them. Since earning money is not their objective, what could possibly motivate them to get involved in the first place and to remain involved month after month and year after year? Fortunately, this is a subject that has been formally and professionally analyzed and for which a lot of expertise already exists. In the chapter entitled "What the Non-Profits are Teaching Business" ("The Essential Drucker") there is a detailed analysis of what brings volunteers into an organization and what keeps them there. First of all, there is the clear reminder of who these volunteers are:

More and more volunteers are educated people in managerial or professional jobs - some pre-retirement men and women in their fifties, even more baby boomers who are reaching their thirties and forties. These people are not satisfied with being helpers. They are knowledge workers in the jobs in which they earn their living, and they want to be knowledge workers in the jobs in which they contribute to society - that is, their volunteer work.
"The Essential Drucker", Peter Drucker, page 47

La traduction est en cours. Désolé. And there is also simple explanation of the reasons which keep them there:

If the non-profit organizations want to attract and hold them, they have to put their competence and knowledge to work. They have to offer meaningful achievement.
"The Essential Drucker", Peter Drucker, page 47

La traduction est en cours. Désolé. How can the non-profit organization accomplish this? It's two things that most of them talk about a lot but actually do very little. One of them is their mission - what is it that they are actually trying to accomplish? Let's keep in mind that the goal of every single non-profit organization that exists in the world, regardless of what it actually does, is to change people's lives (Peter Drucker, "Managing the Non-Profit Organization"). Their own individual missions must then reflect the specific objectives that are the reasons for their existence.

What do these unpaid staff people themselves demand? What makes them stay? Their first and most important demand is that the non-profit have a clear mission, one that drives everything the organization does.
The second thing this new breed requires, indeed demands, is training, training and more training. And, in turn, the most effective way to motivate and hold the veterans is to recognize their expertise and use them to train newcomers.
They expect to be consulted and to participate in making decisions that affect their work and the work of the organization as a whole.
Many of today's knowledge-worker volunteers insist on having their performance reviewed against preset objectives at least once a year. And increasingly, they expect their organizations to remove nonperformers by moving them to other assignments that better fit their capacities or by counseling them to leave.
"The Essential Drucker", Peter Drucker, pages 48-49

La traduction est en cours. Désolé. Unfortunately, as I have seen in my own experience, these simple and clear principles are too often ignored and forgotten by directors and decision makers within most of the local volunteer sports organizations, especially those that are involved in football. I do not know of any organization, for example, whose directors adhere to the principles of self-evaluation that are also described in this book despite the obvious benefits that they bring.

The need to attract and retain quality volunteers is the responsibility of the executives at these organizations. However, without any clear, formal and established processes for evaluating how well they live up to their responsibilities these decision makers never face the scrutiny that would reveal why their clubs are short staffed. Instead, the fingers are pointed at the potential volunteers who are accused of letting the organization down and not willing to get involved.

Management - and not only in the business enterprise - has to be accountable for performance. But how is performance to be defined? How is it to be measured? How is it to be enforced? And to whom should management be accountable? That these questions can be asked is in itself a measure of the success and importance of management. That they need to be asked is, however, also an indictment of managers. That they have not yet faced up to the fact that they represent power - and power has to be accountable, has to be legitimate.They have not yet faced up to the fact that they matter.
"The Essential Drucker", Peter Drucker, page 10

La traduction est en cours. Désolé. The next question to ask then is whose responsibility is it to ensure that good management practices are used to run the organization and the answer to that is that it's the leaders' responsibility to do that. They are the ones who have to provide direction, guidance and motivation. A book has recently been published that analyzes the behaviour of leaders. It is written by Alastair Smith and it's entitled "The Dictator's Handbook: How Bad Behaviour is Almost Always Good Politics". First of all, don't let the title deceive you. As the author of this book states, this book applies to everyone.

It doesn't matter whether you are a dictator, a democratic leader, head of a charity or a sports organization, the same things go on. Firstly, you don't rule by yourself - you need supporters to keep you there, and what determines how you best survive is how many supporters you have and how big a pool you can draw these supporters from.

La traduction est en cours. Désolé.

Secondly, the book gives an excellent explanation of why leaders behave the way they do (to remain in power) and how they accomplish this.

It's much better to decide who gets to eat than to let the people feed themselves. If you lower taxes people will do more work, but then people will get rewards that aren't coming through you. Everything good must come through you.

La traduction est en cours. Désolé.

Think about the way coaches are selected in most of the football organizations. It certainly fits the explanation above. The final question that has to be asked then is what should be done about this?
At the grass roots level, of course, it is the members of these organizations who have the most power to bring about the necessary changes because they can choose the directors.
At the regulatory level, however, it must be Football Canada or Football Quebec, if not the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports, who must provide courses and training on management practices just like they currently provide training and courses on coaching. They could make the greatest contribution to improving the way non-profit sports clubs are run by offering a course on fundamental management principles as well as the basic legal obligations that they have to conform to.

However, until that happens individual members will have to use the powers that they have to bring about the necessary changes in their own organizations. Members need to ask about mission statements, about management policies, about coach selection processes etc. They need to demand that the practices used within their organizations are geared towards delivering the biggest benefits to the members. How well the directors of these organizations react to these demands will be a reflection on their commitment to accomplish the mission that they had set for the organization when they got involved.

Le Departement des Sports et de la Récreation, de même que l'Association des Anciens Islanders invitent tout le monde à  venir rencontrer les nouveaux entraîneurs de l'équipe de football du CEGEP John Abbott.

L'événement aura lieu au resto-bar Cunningham' s à  Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue le mercredi, 15 février à  19 h 30. Il est rendu possible grâce à  l'appui et la générosité de Jim Beauchamp, le propriétaire du resto-bar ainsi qu'un entraîneur de football lui même au sein de l'Association de Football des Patriotes de l'Ouest.

Ceci est une belle opportunité pour tous les joueurs de football, les étudiants, les parents et les amateurs de football de rencontrer Patrick Gregory, le nouvel entraîneur-chef des Islanders de même que son ensemble d'entraîneurs. J'ai eu une opportunité moi même de rencontrer Patrick la semaine passée pour discuter ses intentions par rapport à  l'équipe. J'ai été impressionné par la nouvelle orientation qu'il a donnée au programme et par l'impact qu'il a déjà  eu. Une chose est claire - il va rendre le programme de football des Islanders beaucoup plus visible et un événement comme ça est un pas vers ce but.
The John Abbott College Sports and Recreation department as well as the Islander Football Alumni will be hosting a "meet-and-greet" event for the new coaching staff of the football program and everyone is invited.

The event will take place at Cunningham's Pub in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue on Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 pm. This event is taking place thanks to the support and generocity of Jim Beachamp, the owner of Cunningham's Pub and a football coach himself in the Western Patriotes football association.

This is a great opportunity for all football players, students, parents and fans to meet Patrick Gregory, the new head coach of the Islanders football team and the rest of his team. I had an opportunity to meet Patrick this past week and talk to him about his plans for the Islanders. I was impressed by the new approach that he is bringing to the program and the impact that he has already made. One thing is sure - he will make the Islanders football program much more visible and this event is just one of the steps that he is taking in that direction.



Member of the JAC coaching staff
Patrick Gregory with Jim Beauchamp

La traduction est en cours. Désolé.

About 30-40 persons took advantage of the opportunity to meet Patrick Gregory and the rest of his coaching staff at Cunningham's Pub in Ste-Anne-de-Belleveue last Wednesday. The atmosphere and the character of this event reinforced the fact that coach Gregory intends to run the football program at John Abbott differently than in the past. Together with support from the Abbott Football Alumni Association, Patrick Gregor's strategy for a successful football team is to combine elements of experience and pride from previous years together with enthusiasm, energy and determination from a group of young coaches. Following short introductions by Athletic Director Steve Shaw and Alumni Association President Gilles Falardeau, the new coaching staff was presented comprised of the following individuals:
Patrick Gregory Entraineur chef et coordonateur offensif
Head coach and offensive coordinator
16 ans d'experience SIC aux universités de Montréal et Concordia
16 years CIS coaching experience at U. of Montreal and Concordia
Bob Bindon Entraîneur-chef adjoint et ligne offensive
Assistant head coach and o-line
Ancien entraîneur chef au Collège John Abbott, 13 ans dèexperience au niveau SIC avec les universités Concordia, McGill et Queen's
Former JAC HC, 13 years CIS coaching experience with Concordia, McGill and Queens
Steve Graham ligne offensive
Ancien joueur au Collège John Abbott et l'université Concordia, entraîneur chez Islanders depuis 2009
Former JAC and Concordia player, JAC coach since 2009
Geoffrey Roberts Porteurs de ballon
Running backs
Ancien joueur à  l'université Bishop's, entraîneur avec les CEGEPs Lennoxville, Thetford Mines et St-Lambert
Former Bishop's U. player, CEGEP coach at Lennoxville, Thetford Mines and St-Lambert
Yves Cuillerier Receveurs
Entraîneur chez les Islanders depuis 2011 et beaucoup d'années avec l'association de St-Lazare
JAC coach since 2011, long time coach in St-Lazare
Lou Chapman ligne défensive
Entraîneur chez les Islanders entre 1982 et 2008, entraîneur chef entre 2005 et 2008
JAC coach from 1982-2008, JAC HC 2005-2008
Derek Joseph Sécondeurs
Ancien joueur à  l'université Bishop's, entraîneur à  l'association de North Shore
Former Bishop's U. player, coaching experience with North Shore Mustangs
Pierre-Paul Dorélien Démis défensifs
Defensive backs
Ancien joueur aux universités Western et Ottawa, entraîneur au CEGEP du Vieux Montréal ainsi que l'association des Patriotes de l'Ouest
Former player at Western and Ottawa U., CEGEP coach at Vieux-Montreal and recently with Western Patriotes
Ted Wall Musculation et conditionnement physique
Strength and conditioning
Enseignant actuel au CEGEP John Abbott, ancien joueur chez les Islanders ainsi qu'un entraîneur au CEGEP John Abbott et les universités Concordia et McGill
Current JAC Physical education teacher, former JAC player, coaching experience with JAC as well as McGill U. and Concordia
In addition, Mike Smallwood will be the team manager, Ryan Cooke and Bob Gallison will be the equipment managers while Stan Gendron will be in charge of special projects. Indoor practices will start on Saturday, February 25 and continue until Friday, April 20. Team selection camp will take place during the weekend of May 3-5. The first game of the season is expected to be on September 1 and the home opener will take place a week later on Saturday, September 8.

Athletic director Steve Shaw
Gilles Falardeau and other Islanders alumni
Patrick Gregory and Steve Shaw
Steve Shaw, Mike Smallwood and TBA

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