The coordinator is someone who is able to easily communicate with various people within the club. Someone who fully supports the club's dual career vision. He or she must be able to empathize with the players and be easily approachable. This person must have a certain number of hours per week to take measurements of organize / provide workshops for the different stakeholders (athletes, coaches, parents).
Step-by-step plan for the coordinator
1.Create a Dual Career Support Service Team
As a coordinator it’s your first job to create a Dual Career Support Service team within the club. It is important to surround yourself with different people who all agree on the importance of dual careers. Moreover, it is valuable to include different people in this team, to have a broad overview of the stakeholders.
Try to make a list of people who would be valuable for this team. This could range from someone from the board, the captain of the first team, a coach, a parent, or different experts.
Contact all these people, explain the idea of the dual career programme and ask if they want to play a part in it.
Plan a first meeting:
a. This is for everyone to get to know each other.
b. To create the dual career vision of the club and formulate guidelines!
c. To specify everyone his roles.
Plan meetings on a regular basis to maintain good cooperation between members and to evaluate the progress of the program.
a. Maintain objectivity and support this in the other members too.
b. Reflect if everyone is still working effectively together.
c. Create strong scientific collaboration and encourage the sharing of multidisciplinary knowledge within the team.
2.Develop the clubs philosophy
In order to create an optimal dual career environment. It is critical that the philosophy on dual career of the club is decided and clear. This is how you take people with you in your project. This is the most important step in the succes of the DONA project. How you create the guidelines is described on this DONA-platform under philosophy.
3.Promote the importance of the dual career program for the club
To do so, it is critical that the vision or philosophy of the club is decided and clear. Most people within and outside of the club probably do not know what a dual career is and why it needs more attention. In order to make everybody familiar and cooperative, the awareness of the topic has to be raised. This can be done by giving presentations for your most important stakeholders, write about it in a newsletter or an information email. See therefore the information on this DONA-platform under communication.
4.plan the substantive workshops
In order to assist the athletes (and even coaches and parents) in the effective execution of their dual career, they might be in need of the development of certain skills or tricks. Therefore it might be very valuable to organise workshops. We advise you to organise at least three workshops for the athletes (goal-setting, time management, mental toughness/balance) and one or two workshops for coaches and parents. Determine (together with others at your team) if you are able to organise these workshops yourself with persons from inside the club, or if it is necessary to hire a pedagogue or sport psychologist. See therefore the content of the workshops on this DONA-platform under implementation.
5.Make it work
Organize structural meetings within your team focused on good cooperation between the various specialists, activities within the team program and evaluate the dual career results.
Be the connection between the different stakeholders: you have to be the one who is in contact with all the stakeholders. Not all the time of course, but you are the one who could connect the right people to each other when there is a need for. It might therefore be useful to create a database with contact information and role/expertise of all stakeholders.
Manage the coaches: the coaches are aimed to be the dual career managers of their players. However, this is probably a new task for them too. Therefore it might be crucial to assist all the coaches in their task of managing their players’ dual careers.
Ensure that the Dual Career Support Service is visible. it is important for at least the athletes, coaches and parents to know who to turn to for certain questions. So communicate who you are, what you do and make this visible in newsletters and at your club website with your phone and email.
Organise the overall communication of the vision of the club and updates about the events that are being held. Think about stories for social media, the clubs newspaper or maybe in the local newspapers.
Monitor the progress of your athletes: we will guide you in this in cooperation with the university of Ljubjana.
With a view to this training, it is possible to take into account other stakeholders in the network such as universities or top sport institutes.