"Sorry boys, I'm going to give up the team, don't have time to run it anymore."
I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Organising anything for a group of people more than one, sucks, which really makes all club administrators and organisers the real MVP's of any team. I remember 6 or 7 games in to my first season playing for Brunswick in the Futsal Oz V-League and my night was cut short with that text message from our club captain. I'd only just joined the team, was enjoying playing at a higher level, really liked the boys and loved being on the highlights on TV, albeit on Channel 31 at the time. The majority of our players played in the National Premier League and as the outdoor season commenced, commitment floundered and nobody could run the club anymore, it needed a saviour or it was going to fold. A chorus of SMS's relayed amongst the remaining group of displaced players, and I remember ending the saga playing the role of hero:
"Can't be that hard running the club. More than happy to do it."
Let me tell you right now, running a sports team is worse than doing charity and volunteer work. At least with charity, people are thankful and appreciative, they're appreciative of the time committment you took out of your day to help make someone elses lives that much better. Anyone who's organised a team before will know the biggest ongoing problem (amongst many) is trying to get each player at a single location, at a specific time. It's uncanny having to beg players to be available for games, let alone arrive at the right time. I crafted an intricate system of a fake schedule for the club, where kick off was 15 minutes earlier than it actually was. The boys eventually caught on and I eventually resigned myself to players arriving 3 minutes before kick off.
On top of being the planner you're also the Chief Financial Officer. At most amateur levels, sport is self funded by the players. Collecting the weekly $10 or $15 from games every week, then keeping tabs on the people who conveniently "forgot to bring cash", and creating excel spreadsheets to track expenses for the season becomes an aquired life skill. I can't recount the number of times I'd be at the counter, staring at the sad looking pile of notes and coins in my hand, $10 to $20 short. Someone has to cover that shortfall and it's no guesses who. Those who are brave may pull together sponsorship packages and go out and ask, wish, beg for companies to sponsor their club but anyone that's ever been in that position will know the heartache of rejection. Fun fact, don't be afraid to sell out!
Finally, there's the day to day admin and organisation. Organising the training location and courts, dealing with all the league admin, and finding a uniform and getting the right gear. God, creating the right uniform. I have never known people to care so little and so much for a uniform at the same time.
Team: "I don't care what colour or design, anything"
Organiser: "How about this?"
Team: "Nah, not feeling it"
Organiser: "Umm, Ok. Let's go back to basics, do you even like this colour?"
Team: "Anything man, I trust you"
Organiser: "I hate you"
Its an impossible task, trying to pull together a uniform that matches the clubs identity, whilst trying to please every single person. Everyone insists "I'm ok with anything" but believe me, THEY ARE NOT OK WITH ANYTHING. Overall, be it uniforms or just getting people together, it's a tough tough balancing act and amongst the chaos, you may find some gems and happy life long memories amongst it all. When you get things right, its an amazing rewarding feeling.
Club administrators and organisers are the real MVP's so to anyone organising a group or team of more than one, I applaud you so make sure you let the AKU team or I know how we can help make the upcoming season easier.