Student Athlete SWOT

September 19, 2012
Student Athletes
Carousel Design: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)
Ron Waite and Jeanne Mann
23 Participants

The exercise was held in the Bianchi Room in the Albertus Dining Hall. Ron Waite explained the collaborative nature of the Strategic Planning Process, and further explained that student/athletes were important stakeholders in the process. The importance of honest and individual responses was emphasized. Per the exercise guidelines, the group was divided by lot into 4 distinct subgroups and each initially assigned to one of the following: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. 8 minutes were allotted for the initial postings. Subsequently, 5 minutes were allotted for the round robin review. At the end of the round robin phase, a spokesperson from each of the original subgroups provided what were the four most common checked or significant responses from the group.

 Strengths
  • The addition of coach buses to assist athletes in traveling to away games.
  • The addition of the turf field which was useful and beneficial not only to soccer and lacrosse, but to other teams in need of outdoor practice area (e.g. softball).
  • The student and faculty support of athletic contests offered as home events. In addition, family members and friends of the College frequently attend these events.
  • The overall improvement on the part of most teams with respect to winning records. Winning Teams were seen as a benefit to recruitment in all sports and to bringing positive attention to the College as a whole.


 Opportunities
  • Students believed that better meals and nutrition would improve athletic performance. This statement was linked to the need for more meal money on away contests.
  • Students believed that increasing the seating in the gymnasium was an opportunity to increase student, faculty, family and others attendance at athletic contests hosted by the College.
  • Students indicated that the need for permanent softball and baseball fields would improve the performance of each team and was seen as an opportunity for the College with respect to enhancing the recruitment for these teams and improving their performance records.
  • Although not an opportunity per se, students indicated that the numbers of young kids who are not members of the College community interfere with the normal training associated with teams. No specifics other than a single example were put forth.
 
Weaknesses
  • Students did not believe that they were provided adequate meal money when traveling for away competitions. Specifically, the amount allocated was not sufficient to buy a reasonable meal while in transit, often times utilizing fast food facilities for convenience.
  • Students did not believe that all teams were receiving equal treatment from the Athletic Administration. Larger and more successful teams were given preference and recognition, while smaller or less successful teams were given second class status. Status spanned uniforms, facilities, traveling money, and equipment.
  • Students believed that the Weight Room was not sufficient to support the training needs of the teams fielded by the College. No specific recommendation was forthcoming in the exercise.
  • Students identified that the size, cleanliness, and equipment associated with the training room was subservient and needed enhancement.
 
Threats

  • Students believed that the sharing of buses and the use of vans at times presented a situation for overcrowding that resulted in less than ideal performance when competing in away contests.
  • Security issues regarding the stealing of uniforms, and basketballs were a concern to students.
  • Students suggested that there is significant drug use among athletes. They identified drug testing as a threat in that they believed such testing would disqualify some players.
  • Better laundry procedures and quality of service associated with uniform laundry was a threat identified by students.


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