Article: change management in sports organisations


Success is a moving target!

Change is one of the most talked about aspects of sport.

But change is also one of the hardest things to actually introduce successfully and sustain in any sporting environment. 
Yet, the most successful people in the sport and corporate world know that change is the energy – the driving force behind success and without it, sports organizations – and indeed athletes and coaches will never realize their full potential. 

The unique nature of competitive sports creates a clear conflict: 
1. Change is critical – it is essential to survive. In competitive sport, the faster you can accelerate your rate of change – faster than your opposition – the more likely it is you can sustain competitiveness and win but…….
2. Sport is incredibly conservative. It is more resistant to change than almost any other area of society and some people will resist change to the point of seeing the club or sport fail if it means changing their beliefs and their position.

Already a tremendous number of articles, research and processes related to change are out there.
is an attempt to summarize the most relevant do’s and don’ts to the unique nature of the sporting world!

A volunteer army needs a coalition of effective people – born of its own ranks – to guide it, coordinate it, and communicate its activities.

Clarify how the future will be different from the past and how you can make that future a reality through initiatives linked directly to the vision.

Removing barriers such as inefficient processes and hierarchies provides the freedom necessary to work across silos and generate real impact.

Wins are the molecules of results. They must be recognized, collected and communicated – early and often – to track progress and energize volunteers to persist.

Press harder after the first successes. Your increasing credibility can improve systems, structures and policies. Be relentless with initiating change after change until the vision is a reality.

Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, making sure they continue until they become strong enough to replace old habits.

And remember, even Greek Philosophers BC have written about peoples’ resistance to change – it is one constant in a universe that thrives on change. A fundamental skill of great leaders is to convince people that change is necessary and to get them to support the new direction.


With Panega, we do not only offer the tools, but also 15 years of experience in guiding sports organizations in adopting change and technology. Reach out to us to discuss what you are struggling with!


This article is part of a series and aims to translate scientific literature into the field of work in which we, as a company, can support to make this translation possible.