NALathletics: What's in it for me, Part I - Coaches/

Track & field coaches have to worry about more than job security. They have to wonder about their “profession security.” NALathletics helps them build both.

The most anyone can do to build their job security is simply to do a good job. That’s often not enough in a profession as catty and cliquish as track & field.

So that’s the first thing we offer: we’re not track & field. Not as a brand, not as a culture, not as you’re used to seeing it played and not in our institutional ties. NALathletics represents a parallel system to track & field as we know it. We don’t conflict with any of it, but we also don’t feed into or depend on any of it.

So if you want to get away from the bulls–t, we’re the refuge.

Yes, there likely will be some threats and blackmail about anyone who gets near this, but really, what’s the threat? Give up the nothing the sport offers now?

Revenue generating sports have profession security

How comfortable are you about the continued existence of track & field coaching jobs at the salary you want?

If you answered, “very comfortable” or snorted and said “What kind of ridiculous question is that? Didn’t he see how many people were at (insert massive annual event here)?”, well, best of luck. Enjoy fighting for your slice of a small, stale, ever less relevant pie.

College athletics departments have two categories of sports: revenue generating and the others. We could call those others “financial liabilities” or “charity cases.” Track & field is not a revenue generating sport, therefore it’s a financial liability or a charity case (more on that in future blogs and videos), one that athletics departments will keep on the books when they have the luxury of doing so.

There are lot of reasons to have a track & field program. All those reasons can be overwhelmed by the one reason any activity in any business can find itself on the chopping block: it’s a money sump. When programs start to go away, they and their jobs - your jobs - don’t come back. And when enough programs go away, other schools will start wondering why they keep on with theirs.

Job security only matters if your job outlasts you. Having an accomplished resume will only help you get your next job if that job exists.

NALathletics enables track & field programs to develop a new revenue stream by creating a market for their facility. That’s what makes us the AirBnB of athletics.

Sports departments have this asset that’s only used for a few hours a day, a few months of year.

If they can make some money from it during those other hours, that’s less red next to the words “track & field” in the department’s spreadsheet. That’s more money available for improvements or equipment. That’s less reason for administrators to wonder why they even have the expensive program in the first place.

More athletes will need more coaches

One of the motivations behind NALathletics is keeping more athletes in the sport after college. Athletes coming out of college in just about any other sport can keep playing it at whatever level they desire and can reach: pro, minor league, semi-pro, amateur competitive, recreationally competitive, beer league… The whole pyramid.

Track & field athletes don’t have those options, and they often don’t have the desire. We’re working on both. More on that later.

For now, for the coaches, more athletes playing the sport means more athletes for them to coach. Coaching athletes and clubs can be a second income source (unless you make so much money as a high school or college coach that you don’t want or need more money). As the clubs grow they will go from being a side hustle to a part-time job to a full-time job for any coach who wants it.

If coaches want more money or a different environment than they would find in the scholastic or collegiate set up, it’ll be there. If schools just start cutting programs, there will be other jobs available.

But schools will be less inclined to cut programs because there will be a greater demand signal for them. Athletes staying competitive in the sport will reflect back onto those programs. The expanded athletics industry will boost those schools who saw the opportunity to monetize their existing facility and their athletes by helping us keep them in the sport.

You’ll always be on your own for job security, but NALAthletics will be the first boost to profession security the sport has seen… well… ever? Ever sounds about right.