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Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management
One of the major factors militating against the development of sport in Nigeria today is the lack of effective management. Many solutions are offered daily by worried and patriotic Nigerians to get us out of the quagmire. One of these solutions is this text entitled “Modern trends in sports administration and management”. It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, Lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; 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 matter of reference that can no longer be ignored in 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, focusing on the theories and principles of modern trends in administration and management. sport such as leadership, organization, planning, motivation, etc.
The text contains 16 chapters. The first chapter is called “the concept of sports management”. Here, Awoyinfa says that management is a concept that involves different things for 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 a people, a discipline and a process.
This author explains that as an art, sports management consists in carrying out sports organization functions and tasks through people; while as a science, sports management is about establishing the philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices of sports. As an organization, according to him, sport management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and implementation based on a mission, objectives, targets, functions and tasks.
Awoyinfa says that as a person or a group of people, sports management can refer to the leader alone or to all senior management, committees, etc.; while as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and subjects. The author explains that sport management as a process is about a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights managerial functions in sports administration such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing/directing, controlling, coordinating, budgeting, and evaluating. On who is a sports manager, this author teaches that a sports manager is anyone at any level of the sports organization who leads
the efforts of others towards the achievement of organizational athletic goals.
The second chapter is based on the subject of evolution and trends in sports management thinking. Here, Awoyinfa reveals that the development of sports management thinking dates back to when people first attempted to achieve goals by working together in a group. In his own words, “There was serious thinking and theories about management many years before the dawn of the 20th century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thinking. Major efforts to develop Sports management theories and principles began as early as the early 20th (20th) century with the work of Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol.The industrial revolution of the 19th (19th) century probably provided the climate for this very serious theorizing.
Awoyinfa adds that since the beginning of the 20th century, authors on sports management and business theory have come up with different theories on how to manage work and personnel more effectively and efficiently. This author teaches that the three main schools of thought of management are: the classic; the human-behavioural; and the integrative. Awoyinfa also highlights early sports management theorists; principles and characteristics of scientific management; evaluation of the scientific theory of management, etc., in this chapter.
Chapter three is thematically titled “Principles of Sport Management”. In this chapter, the educational adviser explains that the sporting principles are the fundamental laws on which the practice of sports management is built. He adds that the principles of management must therefore be based on general terms to be applicable within sports organizations of various sizes and characters. “Modern sports managers and administrators are expected to be able to identify and use the appropriate principles that are relevant for particular situations. Indeed, no single principle can fit all administrative situations,” says Awoyinfa.
He says that the fundamental principles of sport are those applicable to all sports organizations and because of their general acceptability they are sometimes referred to as “universal principles of sports management”. This author explains that some of these principles are: responsibility; delegation of power and communication. Regarding the humanitarian principles of sports management, Awoyinfa identifies them as democracy, justice, human relations, sympathy, empathy, consideration and humility.
In chapter four based on the concept of behavioral and motivational theories in sports organization, the author says that human beings are unique creatures as they behave differently under different conditions and are mostly difficult to predict. Awoyinfa points out that since human beings are the most important element of sports organization, sports managers need to understand why people behave in one way or another, so that they (sports managers ) can influence people to behave exactly as sports organizations deem desirable. .
A powerful instrument that this author suggests can be used to drive performance in athletes is motivation. In his own words, “motivation is something necessary in sports organizations for employees to perform.
However, it has been an important and confusing subject for sports managers.” Awoyinfa further discusses the development of motivation concepts in sports organization; the application of motivation theories to sports management; methods of behavior modification, etc., in this chapter.
In chapters five through ten, the author shines his analytical spotlight on topics such as management techniques in sports organization; the concept of sports organization; scenography in sports organization; the concept of planning in sports administration; to make sports organizations more efficient in Nigeria and to staff sports organizations.
Chapter 11 is based on communication strategies in sports organization. According to Awoyinfa here, communication is a crucial factor in any organizational effectiveness because organizations cannot function effectively when communication skills are lacking among members. “Communication being the driving force of an organization, its absence can immobilize organizations”, affirms this author.
In chapters 12 to 16, Awoyinfa X-ray concepts such as organizational changes and sports administration development; leadership in sports administration and management; administration and management of soccer as a coach; teaching physical activity and health education in schools and colleges; and the organization and administration of schools at different levels of education.
As far as the mode of presentation is concerned, this text obtains the pass mark. For example, language is understandable and ideas are brilliantly articulated. Simplicity of language is expected, given the author’s dual professional training as a lecturer and pastor. To ensure easy study of the text by readers, Awoyinfa highlights the objectives of each chapter at the beginning and ends with review/revision questions.
Moreover, it creatively embroiders the text with graphics (pages 50, 97, 317, 330, 338, 395, etc.) to enhance readers’ understanding through visual communication. Awoyinfa includes references at the end of each chapter to fulfill the academic obligation of source disclosure and provide readers with the opportunity to learn more. The inclusion of numerous references also confirms the depth of his research. His use of visual distinction for the phrase “Modern Trends” in the title is decidedly creative.
If there are any chapters that truly make this text a compendium of modern solutions to the administrative and managerial problems that plague our sports development in Nigeria, it is chapters four, eight, 11 and 13. It is because they deal with motivation, planning, communication. and management respectively.
Meanwhile, the biggest thematic chapter of all is chapter four. That it is consciously or unconsciously seen as the greatest chapter finds its practical expression in the deeper communication and cohesion between its subject on the one hand and the allegorical visuals of the outer cover or the metaphorical images such as the post goals, racing cyclists, a lawn tennis player ready for action with her bat, competing sprinters and footballers battling for possession of the ball, on the other. These are images used for illustrative purposes in motivational speech.
However, some errors are noted in this text. Errors are “Acknowledgment” (page iii), instead of “Acknowledgments”; non-paragraph of the first natural paragraphs of “Preface”; “Loosing” (pages 396 and 404), instead of “Losing”, etc. These errors should be corrected in the next edition.
On a note of analytical purpose, this text is a compendium of irresistible sports management advice. It is essential reading for anyone in the sports industry, especially managers and administrators. It is simply fascinating.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor/CEO of http://www.gokeilesanmi.com and Management Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Speaker/Facilitator, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Management Coach career, renowned book reviewer, business leadership expert and editorial consultant.
For a commercial discussion, contact him at +234(0)8055068773; +234(0)8056030424
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