Sports

Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management

One of the major factors militating against the development of sports in Nigeria today is lack of effective management. A lot of solutions are being proffered by concerned and patriotic Nigerians daily to bail us out the quagmire. One of such solutions is this text entitled “Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management”. It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, a lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; a researcher and educational consultant. I was the person invited by the author and the university to review the book when it was presented to the public on December 4, 2008 in Nigeria.

According to Awoyinfa, it is a truism all over the world that sport is now a reference issue which can no longer be ignored at various sectors of the economy and spheres of life. The author adds that this text thus takes a critical look at topical issues in sports administration and management, dwelling on theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organisation, planning, motivation, etc.

The text contains 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened “the concept of sports management”. Here, Awoyinfa says management is a concept that implies different things to different people at different times, thus leading to its multiplicity of definitions. He explains that management has been variously described as an art, a science, a person or people, a discipline and a process.

This author expatiates that as an art, sports management is all about carrying out sports organisational functions and tasks through people; while as a science, sports management is about establishing sports philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices. As an organisation, according to him, sports management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission, objectives, targets, functions and tasks.

Awoyinfa says as a person or group of people, sports management may refer to the head alone or to all the senior staff, committee, etc.; while as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. The author illuminates that sports management as a process is about a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights management functions in sports administration as planning, organising, staffing, directing/leading, controlling, coordination, budgeting and evaluation. On whom a sports manager is, this author educates that a sports manager is anyone at any level of sport organisation who directs
the efforts of other people towards the achievement of organisational goals sport-wise.

Chapter two is based on the subject matter of evolution and trends of sports management thought. Here, Awoyinfa discloses that the development of thoughts on sports management dates back to the days when people first attempted to accomplish goals by working together in a group. In his words, “There was serious thinking and theorising about managing many years before the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thought. Major efforts to develop theories and principles of sports management began from the early twentieth (20th) century with the work of Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol. The industrial revolution of the nineteenth (19th) century probably provided the climate for this very serious theorising.”

Awoyinfa adds that since the turn of the 20th century, writers on sports management and business theory have been propounding different theories about how to manage work and personnel more efficiently and effectively. This author educates that the three main schools of management thought are: the classical; the human-behavioural; and the integrative. Awoyinfa also highlights early sports management theorists; principles and characteristics of scientific management; appraisal of the scientific management theory, etc., in this chapter.

Chapter three is thematically labelled “principles of sports management”. In this chapter, the educational consultant explains that sports principles are the basic laws on which the practice of sports management is built. He adds that management principles must therefore be based on general terms for them to be applicable within sport organisations of varying sizes and character. “Modern sports managers and administrators are expected to be able to identify and use appropriate principles that are relevant to particular situations. This is because no single principle can suit all administrative situations,” submits Awoyinfa.

Sports

Society’s Shift From Free Play to Sports

Most of us have seen the movie “The Sandlot” and remember growing up with summers filled with adventure and freedom. I think we all believe that there has been a severe shift from free play to organized sport. Many of us believe that the one of the problems is technology and another is the two extremes of parent involvement (either too involved or lack of involvement). I think that they are not only part of the problem but have a symbiotic relationship in the drive of kids from free play to organized sport or no sport. In fact, I believe that this technophile generation’s technology addiction is a symptom of the lack of parent involvement.

One of the theories of sport sociology is that sport is a reflection of society. We also can agree that sport teaches many things including cultural values, coordination, fitness, competition, how to follow rules, and at times, nationalism and reinforces them through play. As a brief look through the sports sociological portion of the sociocultural domain of sport sciences, I believe that the shift from free play to organized sport is a reflection of our current society and its drive toward the future.

Just as with much of our current condition, we must look back to key points in history that have had immeasurable influence on today. In our time, the two major events is often the Industrial Revolution beginning in 1760 and the Great Depression from October 29, 1929 to the beginning of World War II. The industrial revolution brought about many great achievements to society, which resulted in more jobs. These new jobs allowed individuals to work towards success and truly embody the American Dream of the ability to achieve one’s dreams. From 1840 to the 1920’s, society became technologically advanced and the world became more prosperous than ever before in such a short time. This time period saw the invention and proliferation of the radio and the popularization of organized sport. Professional sports could now be brought into the home. However, with the stock market crash in October of 1929, many businesses failed and many individuals lost their family’s earned savings. People now had to work harder for less. Kids during this time had to make do with what they had and often it was simple. Kids saw their parents work hard and hope for the future. Kids were left to dream and imagine. This resulted in much free play with simple sports equipment like sticks and sandlots and whatever could be scrounged. Kids dreamed of playing “the big leagues” while they worked to help supplement family income. Free play at this time was king as it was simple and could be made up with what was at hand.

The beginning of World War II saw many of these kids being drawn into the conflict in Europe and the Pacific. This was the end of the Great Depression as the world’s industries turned toward national pride and began to support the war efforts against a common goal. Families began to recover from the Depression and began to become affluent again. As time moved on through the war and further into the 20th Century, families realized that another time of hardship could happen and resolved to make sure their children did not have to suffer at the same level again. Thus began the push to develop and train children from an early age to go to college, gain a trade or succeed in sports. At first, the push was simple. However, as time progressed, each child was pushed harder to gain the competitive edge over their peers. Parents were the driving force through their determination to help their children succeed. School became a time consumer that involved time at the school itself and at home with homework. As the competition increased, sport also became part of that edge. Interestingly enough, during this time the world saw the proliferation of the television in homes. Families became affluent, enable them to purchase these luxury items. Sports was now in the home through both mediums of television and radio. This timeframe brought legendary sports heroes like Pele, Muhammed Ali, and Joe Dimaggio into the homes and imagination of the world. The heroes were compared to their predecessors like Babe Ruth and kids began to aspire to be like them.

Jump ahead to the 1980’s and beyond and you will find the beginning of the computer age. Information began to flow into the homes and hands of every individual with a computer, phone and tablet. The world found itself in a new high of affluence. The children who grew up during and shortly after the Great Depression were now the parents. They wanted to be able to give their children what they were unable to have. Often this meant both parents were working outside the home. These working parents now had to find a safe place for their children to be after school until they got home from work. Coupled with the drive for kid’s success, kids were placed in sports programs at school or through an after-school program.

When children were home, it was after a long day at school and afterschool. The parents were too tired to engage with their children and often turned to television to decompress from work. Kids now did not have the time or energy to play outside. When they had time, they would be told to either do homework or practice. When not preparing to succeed in the classroom or field, kids were plied with technology and mimicked their parents by soaking themselves in technology and information exchange.

Sports

Benefits of Sports Physiotherapy

Sports are a big part of a nation’s culture and identity. Every country in the world has its own type of sport from the world famous football to the modern day archery. We just can’t eliminate these adrenaline pumping activities since it’s something that unites us in one way or another.

However, sports can lead to different physical injuries that are quite alarming if they are not treated the right way or if they are not given the right and proper medical attention. Extreme physical exertion can be usually seen during sports exhibition as this type of activity requires constant physical effort.

Due to the continuous modernization in the health care field, these unwanted injuries can now be prevented or alleviated through the application of sport physiotherapy. Sport physiotherapy is the application of the principles involved in physiotherapy to different sports. The benefits of sport physiotherapy offer a whole new perspective to the sporting world and some of its benefits includes:

• Improves the body’s durability

The constant application of physiotherapy in athletes improves the ability of the body to handle physical stress. Normally, our body has a unique and efficient way of repairing itself. However, during extreme physical exertions as what happens during sport exhibitions – some of the damage might be too complicated or too big for our body’s normal function to cover.

That’s when sport physiotherapy comes in. The programs involved in sport physiotherapy help the body to improve its durability. It helps strengthen the bones, muscles, joints and small ligaments to withstand pressure thus making it more durable in the long runs. This is quite important especially for athletes who constantly take in blows from direct contact sport like American football, rugby and basketball. By making the body more effective in taking in blows, athletes can have a longer time in the playing field without worrying about some nasty injuries.

• Helps prevents injury

Another benefit of sport physiotherapy is that it dramatically decreases the chance of an individual to get injured during the game. By carefully monitoring a player’s capacity which includes his or her flexibility, coordination, strength, and joint flexion during a regular training session, a physical therapist can formulate some helpful exercise routines to help minimize any sport related injuries like cramps, strains, sprains and torn ligaments.

This specific benefit of sport physiotherapy has already been widely used in the sporting world internationally because of its undeniable importance to world class athletes.

• Improves joint and muscle flexibility

Flexibility is another factor that determines an athlete’s capability. The benefit of sport physiotherapy in this specific field is undoubtedly enormous. If you think only gymnasts requires a flexible and bendable body then you are completely off the scale.

Baseball, boxing, cricket, swimming and almost all types of sports also requires flexibility, although the required amount may differ from each other. Flexibility is very important in the sporting world. Sport physiotherapy enhances the flexibility of an individual so that he or she can perform to his or her optimum level of functioning. Without the proper degree of flexibility an injury may occur while an athlete is swinging his bat or dashing to the end line using breast stroke.

• Improves body relaxation

As far as relaxation is concerned, there is no athlete that wouldn’t want to stop by in a spa to relax after a very tiring day in the gym or field. Luckily, relaxation is another benefit of sport physiotherapy. Everybody needs a good break, even top class athletes.

Sport physiotherapy programs do not only prevent injury or helps someone achieve its full athletic abilities. It also helps these guys to relax a little bit which is quite important for someone who will run, jump and bend over and over again.

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