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March 4, 2021

5 Areas Collegiate Athletics Can Work on to Improve Their Cultures

I’d like to talk about a presentation I did at Georgia Tech’s athletic department. The collegiate athletic space is wrought with ethical issues, issues of integrity. Largely it’s because of the competition. I’d like to talk about 5 specific things we talked about with the athletic director, football coach, and many other people in the athletic staff. These 5 principles apply to all collegiate sports. The collegiate athletic space necessarily and inherently includes recruiting, it includes competition, and a desired to win.

Often times, coaches, athletes, administrators, leaders, and boosters make bad decisions. It happens. There are many examples of bad decisions being made. Sometimes there are consequences because people are caught or regulators get the wind of it. Many times they don’t get caught. But what’s the right thing to do. We discussed many aspects of doing the right thing and having integrity with ethical decision making and inherently including critical decision making process in every decisions both at home and on the court. Here are 5 soft skills that are crucial for all parties involved to be aware of and practice:

5 Soft Skills in Collegiate Athletics to Improve Culture

  1. Accountability
  2. Vulnerability
  3. Integrity
  4. Empathy
  5. Humility

These are 5 soft skills. Athletes are typically tough, rough, strong, battle, and fight. but these 5 soft skills are really hard. It takes a lot of courage to hold yourself accountable when you do something wrong. Working with athletes and coaches is no different than working with CEOs. The challenges, the inherit story we tell ourselves, is the same an athletic director or coach faces. It’s vital to hold yourself accountable to what the rules are, to what the law says, and think through every single decision. It’s important to create an environment where people are coming forward and talking about all the various issues that are arising. Create an environment in your organization around these 5 soft skills of accountability, vulnerability, integrity, empathy, and humility.

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