Management tips from Coach P

You may not see a hard tackle next to your office water cooler or have a referee standing next to your cubicle, but football and office life have more in common that you might think.

McMaster Marauders’ Football Head Coach Stefan Ptaszek described how his coaching techniques could help other parts of the University at an event for University managers on Thursday afternoon.

Renowned for his motivational speeches and attention to detail, Ptaszek joined the Marauders football team in 2006, and helped guide the team to their first national title five years later. The team won a record-breaking 21 consecutive games and earning a repeat visit to this year’s Vanier Cup, losing to Laval.

Coach Ptaszek explained that his first step in building the Marauders each year is to focus on the people side of the team. His techniques are not just for football but apply to any team building situation.He offered three tips that help him mould a group of great players into a great team that plays together.

First he gets personal, trying to build a connection with each player as an individual so they can work together and trust each other.

Second, he recognizes and praises good work. In particular he looks not for the high profile moments, but for those moments when a player went the extra mile, even if it was not obvious to spectators or others on the field.

Finally, the coach said he focuses on recruiting players with more than football skills. He recruits “quality people” who have strong team values.

The meeting, hosted by the TMG Committee, was the group’s first networking and leadership event. It part of an effort to provide more opportunities for managers at McMaster to interact with each other and improve their skills. “The event was a great opportunity to meet new managers from across the University,” said TMG committee co-chair Laura Harrington, noting that the Committee would like to repeat the session next year and expressing thanks to those who were able to attend.  The event was sponsored by the Office of the Vice- president, Administration.