Athletic directors touch a lot of lives and have a lot of responsibilities. It’s easy to make mistakes as an administrator, but it’s also easy to make some changes to help avoid the most common mistakes. Whether you’re a new athletic director trying to start off on the right foot or a veteran trying to set goals for next year, we have a list of common mistakes that athletic administrators make—and a tool that can help you manage your job more effectively.

Trying to Be Perfect

No matter who you are or where you are in your career, you will make mistakes. Everyone does it, and it’s ok to accept that you won’t be perfect. Even if you pick one mistake to avoid or one area to improve for the year, if you stick to your goal, you’re already performing better—and your staff and athletes will be better as well. If your goal is being more organized, ArbiterSports has a new solution especially for athletic directors called ArbiterAthlete. Make pre-participation registration easy, electronic, accurate, and secure so that your athletes and staff can be ready for the season ahead of schedule.

Focusing Too Much on the Wrong Things

You probably became an athletic director because you know the value of athletics in education and want to give back to the next generation of student-athletes. When you’re running a program, though, it’s possible to lose touch with that noble goal in between the paperwork and other responsibilities. Don’t focus purely on victories and business: encourage your staff and athletes to embrace the life lessons that will impact their lives even after they graduate. Get out of your office once in a while to connect with your students during practice, on a leadership team, or outside of their sports instead of missing out on impacting their lives.

Being Too Proud to Listen to Others

So much of your job as an athletic director involves listening to other people, whether they’re students, parents, coaches, or officials. You’re not the only person in your program who’s busy, and it pays to give all of your attention to the people who need it. Once you demonstrate a willingness to listen to concerns, help others, and take criticism, you can strengthen your relationships with everyone that you work with. Provide your staff with tools to evaluate you just like you evaluate them and consider their suggestions seriously.

Doing Everything Yourself

Sure, you’re an athletic director and in charge of your program. That doesn’t mean that you have to do literally everything—in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Delegating some tasks to others and trusting others’ expertise and efforts will save you a lot of stress and ensure that you’re engaged in your school’s community. Whether it’s trusting your athletic booster club to support their students’ program, choosing helpers to answer phones, or investing in a program like ArbiterAthlete to take a lot of the time and manual labor out of organization and details, you have resources to make your job easier. Being at the top doesn’t have to be lonely: build a team that can help you get things done and benefit your athletes.

ArbiterAthlete: A Better Way to Stay Organized

Get away from your desk and paperwork and back into what really matters with ArbiterAthlete from ArbiterSports. ArbiterAthlete takes what was once a time-consuming process done manually and turns it into a digital process, saving hours that would be better spent running your program. Collect and manage student-athlete forms, consents, and fees through an online system that improves accuracy, reduces workload and costs, and protects sensitive information. The system is user-friendly, comprehensive, and flexible enough to accommodate the needs of your program. For more information about ArbiterAthlete or any of our other tools for athletic directors and game officials, contact us at or call 800.576.2799.