“Sport and professionalism” is the keynote speech of Willem Visser, International Lecturer 8th Dan Judo IJF, at the International Congress, Sport Science and Research Institute Tehran; (9/11 – 12/11 2020).
Sport and professionalism means, that sport federations have to be professional as well.
The structure in a professional sport federation has to be a professional structure and is quite similar to a business company. (Because of the fact that the president and the board of executives of the Dutch Judo Federation were all businessmen, in the time that I was head coach of that federation, 1988-1996, was a guarantee for results; both in the grow of the federation and in international contest results!)
In a professional sport federation there are all kinds of management, like
➢ Financial management,
➢ Economical management,
➢ Commercial management,
➢ Public relations and communication,
➢ Human Resource management,
➢ Knowledge management and science,
➢ Performance management.
All those aspects of management need leadership, so in sport federations there is a financial director, a technical director and a general director.
In sport federations with more than 100.000 members the staff of directors is even bigger; they also have a commercial director and human resource manager.
In some very rich federations they have their own scientific division. In some countries the scientific division is lodged within the National Olympic Committee and all national sport federations can use the expertise of the scientific research.
Working with a turnover:
If a federation is organizing and managing the federation in the right way, than the members and potential members are trusting the development of that federation and the federation will grow. Every time, and many times a federation has to create that time, the federation has to promote their sport by mentioning the educational values of the sport, the organization of that sport and the way in which the board is managing the specific sport.
A professional board, and professional means specialism, integrity and cooperation, must be able to promote the sport because of values and organization.
People and potential members of a federation, government, private sponsors and press will be interested in the development of that specific sport federation.
And this will be a contribution to the promotion of the sport and sport federation.
Working with the principle of ‘profit’:
Remember the words of my former president of the Dutch Judo Federation (JBN) Mr Frans Hoogendijk: “you, as head coach, you have to take care for the profit”.
Making profit means: making excellent results at international competition, continental championships, world championships and Olympic Games. Not results or good results, but excellent results.
And also because of this, people and potential members of a federation, government, private sponsors and press will be interested in the development of that specific sport federation.
Both, managing and organizing the federation in the right way and making excellent results at international competition, continental championships, world championships and Olympic Games, will give a huge boost in the promotion of the sport and the sport federation.
Internal in the federation ‘turnover’ and ‘profit’ will influence each other and this will be for the benefit of the sport federation and her members.
Good management will stimulate competitors to give their utmost and excellent results will inspire the management to continue.
A very important remark is, that at first the organizing and the management of the sport federation must be excellent and professional.
Officials may never expect excellent results if the organization and the management is not excellent.
In the next article I´ll give consequences of professionalism in sport for science and research and for the athletes
Executive coach, Strategic Adviser, International Lecturer; 8th Dan Judo IJF
With gratitude to all my teachers, specialists, colleagues and especially all the judoka that I was allowed to guide and to coach.
Sources and inspiring professionals:
Van der Horst, Cobben, Abe, Saitoh, Yamashita, Uemura, Sugawara, Murata, Hosokawa, Komata, Takahashi, Nakamura, Kasuga, Kawashima, Kariya, Brousse, Besson, Rougé, Ruska, Geesink, de Cree, Barta, Vachun, Viser, Lascau, McConnell, Snijders, Sins, Hoogendijk, Boersma, Odinot, van Dijk, Klok, Agúndez, Landsberg, Covey, de Waal, DeCaluwe, Drucker, Franzen, Goldratt, Hammer, Kets de Vries, Kotler, Mastenbroek, Mintzberg, Peters, Porter, Quinn, ten Bos, Trompenaars, Vinke, Weggeman, Wissema and many others.