5 Steps for Managing Large Groups: Enlist Help

Here's part 3 of my 5 part series on Managing Large Groups for their Success and Your Sanity. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you're new to this series.

So, what do you do when the ratios are against you? It's you vs. 35 lacrosse players... all in one training session! You know you can't possibly give each athlete your best. Well, it's kind of obvious, but when resources are spread thin, may be tough to recognize.

When you arrive at the outermost regions of your comfort zone in terms of managing a certain ratio of you to your athletes, reach out for some support. Other coaches on staff, a hearty battalion of interns, or just the athletes themselves can all be utilized greatly for help running a session.

Here's the Pros of each option:

  1. Reach out to other staff: maybe this is standard practice, maybe it's not; regardless, this is probably your best option. It gives other staff the opportunity to gain experience with sports outside of their usual responsibilities and allows them to establish new relationships and experiences.
  2. Battalion of interns: that's what these kids are LIVING for! The opportunity to actually feel like they're making a difference. Tell 'em to put down the cleaning supplies and get their coaching cues fired up. This option gives you the chance to show that you can instruct on many levels and provide a superior experience for your teams under less than ideal circumstances.
  3. Building leaders - the athletes themselves: let's face it, there are a lot of really intelligent, awesome kids on every team. Grab the ones that have excellent leadership abilities and give them some light duties to help keep their many teammates on track during the lift. They'll feel great because they're contributing to the team's success and you'll feel great because the quality of the session will improve.
  4. Maybe the best option: Break the group up into manageable chunks: this gives you the ratios you desire and improves quality of experience for the athletes.

That's it! Don't be afraid to ask for what you need, you just might get it.

Next week I'll dive into part 4: Use Technology as an Accelerator.

Sarah Walls

A little about me: I've worked in pretty much every corner of the fitness industry for about 10 years. I've had the great fortune of spending most of this time working with gifted athletes at every level. I've also had the great opportunity of designing and conducting research projects, writing occasionally for various publications and blogs, competing in powerlifting, and just generally having a killer time pursuing my passions wherever they may take me. Now I own two businesses: one is an athletic performance training company that I started in 2007 at age 26 and the other is a software company startup that was launched in 2014. Paramount to all the awesomeness of my professional career, is my family. My kids are a thrill and my husband continues to be my most critical and important supporter.