3 areas of focus to minimize sport risk

Jan 03, 2018

“Sometimes the riskiest endeavors reap the greatest rewards.”

From an athlete’s perspective, the above quote rings true. Being able to push outside your limits and confront failure without certainty of success is a risk that athletes face on a daily basis. Although psychological and emotional barriers tell us otherwise, risk-taking is absolutely necessary for the pursuit of athletic success.

Can the same be said from a sport organization’s point of view? Perhaps not. Risks are understood more negatively by sport administrators as they can have detrimental consequences on business objectives. However, risks are unavoidable and a reality of life. By viewing risks as opportunities rather than threats, organizations can proactively develop a robust risk management plan. As a result, more time can be allocated towards overall business objectives.

According to the Sport & Law Strategy Group, there are three key areas to keep in mind when minimizing risk within your sport organization:

1. Prevention

Organizations that have the right governance model, updated policies and strong communication have reduced risk. Take the time to identify what the possible risks for your organization are, evaluate them appropriately and make decisions on how you can mitigate/control them.

2. Insurance

The cost of dealing with risk management in advance of an issue is 10%; the cost of dealing with it afterwards escalates up to 90%. Be sure to review what your organization is currently doing and make an appointment with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the coverage that you need.

3. Conduct

The conduct of a sport organization and its coaches should be equal to that of a careful and sensible parent. If a situation arises where you are unsure of the actions to take, ask yourself: Can I sleep at night? Have I done everything reasonable to provide a safe environment? If things go bad, am I prepared to speak with media, parents and/or the victim(s)?

Risk doesn’t always need to be viewed in a negative light. By taking the necessary precautions, sport leaders can move from coping with risks in a reactive way to managing risks more thoughtfully and proactively. After all, it’s the incorporation of risk management principles into everyday practices that produces more resilient and productive sport organizations.