June 4, 2021 • Athletic AdministrationCoaching

Sports Under 40: The Impact of Professional Development

Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s without a cellphone or any type of electronic communication, my “friend requests” were sent out through playing team sports. Accepting this “request” indicated a bond that was like no other type that only people who have been a part of team sports would understand. So, from such an early age, I knew that I wanted to spend my life centered on sports. 

My journey began, as most do, with playing team sports for your local recreational hometown. Over time, progression continued to travel ball and attending tournaments/camps/clinics to get better at your sport. All of these I attended with my friends so that we could all grow together. Then, in the late ’90s, I began playing high school sports which I viewed as a test of my accomplishments from my youth and early teen years. I viewed this time as a test of my growth. 

developmentTo continue my journey, college athletics was the next step that I needed to prepare for. I relied on those friends to prepare me to be ready for the next level of competition. Without surrounding myself with people who will make me better, I would not be where I am today.

I owe much of my accomplishments to my peers, co-workers, college professors, administrators, and especially my wife. During my journey, one thing has always stood out for me.  It is my continued drive to grow as a professional. In 2003, when I graduated from Wesley College my wife, girlfriend at the time, advised me of a graduate assistant position to continue my growth in the world of sports — which I accepted and completed in 2006. When I became a high school athletic director in 2007 at the age of 26, I instantly started to thirst for that desire to learn more. Attending local professional development workshops put on by the Delaware Association of Athletic Directors (DAAD) I instantly began sending out more “friend requests.” Accepting these requests were veteran professionals that I would use as a resource to learn and grow as a high school athletic director. I also Attended National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) leadership training courses (LTC) and conferences which have always been a huge passion of mine as this has helped to mold my philosophy as an athletic administrator.

I strongly believe that the journey of professional development and professional growth is something that continues your entire life to which there is never an end in sight. Surrounding yourself with like-minded professionals and people who will continue to walk with you are what I believe to be the basic building blocks that I have created from an early age. I challenge you to continue to push the limits, accept failure, and continue to grow as a professional. 

» ALSO SEE: Using Social Media to Promote Student-Athletes

To learn more about the NIAAA, its leadership training courses, and conferences, visit members.niaaa.org and view the available opportunities under the professional development and conference tabs. For those in the state of Delaware interested in the professional development opportunities within the DAAD, visit DADDhome.com and view the updates under the ‘Professional Development,’ ‘AD Resource & Links,’ and ‘Useful Articles & Ideas’ tabs. 

Always remember that the journey you are taking will never have an easy path but the people on the journey with you will make the travel well worth the journey.