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Management Competencies in Sports and Recreation

Various skills, knowledge and abilities are needed to manage people and organizations. These promote better leadership and contribute to success in the organizations being managed. Creating, promoting, facilitating, or organizing any sport-related business, event, or product falls under sports and leisure management. Professional leagues, clubs, national and state sports organizations, agencies, and private sports firms employ sports managers. Various sports and recreational subcategories in Hong Kong include games such as football, volleyball, rugby, and badminton that have both female and male teams. Others include horse racing, athletics and swimming. Various management competencies such as communication, teamwork, multicultural competency, planning and admin competency, and innovation are necessary for the sports and recreation department (Spaaij et al., 2020). This essay analyses the vital managerial competencies in sports and recreation.

Core management competencies

These are the various characteristics and abilities that a manager should portray. They include communication. Communication is a two-way process; one must obtain feedback for the process to be complete. Interpersonal communication necessitates detecting, understanding, predicting, and anticipating others’ thoughts, emotions and problems. It requires the ability to empathize with other people’s situation(Subarkah, 2018). Management involves other people; these people can only be engaged through effective communication to get work done. Effective communication entails using the correct language, channel and the right message. Non-verbal communicaation is as important as verbal communication and should be taken into consideration. Good leaders listen carefully to understand what is being said before responding.

Another management competency is motivation. Good managers and leaders understand how to bring the people they manage together in order to achieve a common goal. They can recognize what drives and inspires others and use that information to increase productivity through the use of interpersonal skills. A motivated workforce is a productive workforce. Motivation can be monetary or non-monetary. Honesty and integrity are other core management competencies. These involve display of honesty, humane and ethical behaviour. These function as role models for others and exhibit their values via their activities. Other important characteristic of a great leader is the ability to recognize potential in others. Natural born leaders strive to help others improve their skills and abilities. Each employee has his or her own set of experiences, beliefs, goals, and values. Good managers and leaders pay special attention to their followers (Agergaard, 2018).

All managers should have the skill and ability to solve problems. Problems and challenges are an essential part of daily organizational activities. The way these problems are solved determines the success or failure of the organization. Problem solvers who are proactive in resolving issues and avoiding confrontation whenever it occurs are better problem solvers. Employees are given the opportunity to seek out information that will assist them in developing and evaluating a variety of potential solutions. When problems arise, good problem solvers act swiftly to avoid developing employee conflict. Having a vision is defined as the ability to design a specific and vivid plan to attain agreed-upon goals. Influential leaders cultivate a long-term outlook and share it with others. They inspire others to take activities that help the team achieve its goals. This is how they expedite organizational change (Cunningham et al., 2018).

Creative leaders and managers welcome new ideas and creativity. These leaders are able to question the current situation and, if necessary, build new processes. Creative people can see problems in new ways and come up with innovative solutions. Another ability is delegation. Leaders with clout understand that they can’t do everything on their own. They understand that achieving their goals will necessitate the support of others. They can reach their objectives swiftly by utilizing the skills of others since they know who is the best fit for each task. They disperse functions successfully by acknowledging the abilities of others. People from all backgrounds work in organizations, thus recognizing diversity is crucial. Each member of the team has their own set of values, experiences, cultural origins, and goals. Good leaders create an environment that is welcoming to all employees. They recognize and cherish each individual’s unique contributions and ideas, and they use them to achieve common objectives (Lis & Tomanek 2020).

Management competencies in recreation and sports management

According to Lis & Tomanek (2020), planning is one of the most common activities that take place in sports and recreational activities. Planning competency is the discipline of breaking an organization’s and its members’ goals into actions and programs. Every major event necessitates thorough planning and foresight. And it’s not as simple as it appears. Mega-events such as the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games require detailed planning to be laid out before the competition begins. Identifying the desired outcome, anticipating the issues, and structuring activities following these obstacles and deadlines are all part of the planning process. As a result, a foolproof plan necessitates much prior experience with similar situations. Budgeting and financial management planning are other management aspects in the sports and recreation sector. Various sports events involve the use of lots of money. All these need to be budgeted for. All expenditures for sports, such as equipment and jerseys, also need to be monitored. The various sports personnel together with the managers also need to be paid.

Teamwork competency. Tasks are completed by small groups of collectively responsible persons whose work necessitates coordination. Managing team dynamics entails resolving problems, celebrating team accomplishments, and assigning tasks that use team members’ skills. Teams play most sports activities such as football, volleyball and netball games. Other games such as swimming could be a competition between individuals. The manager should thus maintain positive teamwork energy among all participants involved. Multicultural competency and respect for diversity are also critical (Spaaij et al., 2020). Mindful of social etiquette variances, Intercultural tolerance and sensitivity to how others think, act, and feel—acceptance of linguistic disparities. The national teams of various sports in Hong Kong is made of individuals from different background. The culture, leisure and sports department is also made up of people with different values and belief systems. These can only work well under the management of a teamwork competent sports manager.

Individual management competencies in recreation and sports

I am a good communicator; I value the use of effective channels and feedback from my audience. I mainly focus primarily on non-verbal communication. Effective communication, especially in sports and recreation organizations, is essential in getting work done (Subarkah, 2018). Team players in a football match and the coach and players must communicate to win the game. I tolerate diversity very well. I can work with people from different cultural backgrounds. I have excellent social etiquette skills to interact well with other people. Sports and recreation is a multicultural sector. Hong Kong’s population is very diverse in demographics and attitudes; the same picture is seen in sports and recreation organizations. Taking into account these diversities, inclusion and proper management is thus necessary.

Effective sport management entails marketing and reaching out to a diverse range of customers, and ensuring that workplace cultures and systems are structured to establish and maintain inclusive environments where everyone can succeed. It also entails understanding the different regulatory problems around diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They must comprehend the workplace implications of diversity and inclusion and the underlying causes of these dynamics. This understanding will enable all people to function ineffective teams and organizations (Spaaij et al., 2020).

I do not adapt well to change. I will take a lot of time before starting implementing change policies. Change is inevitable in sports and recreation organizations. More recreational activities are now being done indoors. With the outbreak of COVID-19, various recreational activities were banned due to various government containment measures. When sports activities finally resumed, games were played without an audience. All games were instead streamed. Flexibility is thus such a vital skill that a sports manager should have (Belli et al., 2020).

I am a meticulous planner; I pay attention to every detail. Sport management involves various planning, from sourcing funds to planning major game events, venue planning, and financial planning. I am also an extrovert; I like working and socializing with other people around me. Team working is essential in sports (Agergaad, 2018).


Management involves tasks and activities that involve direction, planning, organization, leading and controlling to ensure that the organization’s goals and objectives are met. Management competencies include effective communication, innovation, and integrity. Sports and recreation management competencies include teamwork, planning and diversity competency. As a sport and recreational management student, I have planning, teamwork and practical communication competencies. I, however, need to work on change management competency.


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Subarkah, A. (2018, December). Analysis of Interpersonal Communication in Sports. In 2nd Yogyakarta International Seminar on Health, Physical Education, and Sport Science (YISHPESS 2018) and 1st Conference on Interdisciplinary Approach in Sports (CoIS 2018) (pp. 288-291). Atlantis Press.


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