Best of 2020: Dan Duquette, Player Development Expert
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast…
There is a bit of an unfortunate truth in the sports industry… sometimes job titles can mean very different things to different people in different organizations.
Take the term marketing for one. People tell me all the time, I want to work in sports marketing! And I say...OK, what specifically in marketing, because that is a very broad term. Marketing could be project managing billboards, or email outreach, tossing t-shirts on game night… or it could be google paid advertising, social media campaigns, sponsorships and activation.
So when you see a job listing for a Marketing Manager -- make sure you read the job description and tailor your resume and cover letter for that specific role and the demands of it.
Another term that has a pretty wide berth is player development. Taken on its surface, you are in charge of developing the player. Makes sense right?
But there are really two different aspects of this -- on the field of play, and off the field of play.
You will see player development roles that involve assisting athletes, whether they be in college or in the pros, adjusting to their new life, getting settled, knowing their way around town, where to get food, how to get set up with a financial advisor.
These are vitally important roles that colleges and pro organizations take on to make sure they get the most out of their investment. If a player is worried about having a place to live or knowing what classes to take - they are more likely to be distracted and not perform at their best.
But there is another type of player development, and that’s what we are going to focus on today.
That is the magic that happens in organizations between acquisition and true potential.
Let’s use baseball as an example.
Player gets drafted, they are 18 years old just graduated high school, and now they are in your system.
Unless their name is Mike Trout, it is a long way to a major league city.
Player development is everything that happens between acquisition and making the major leagues.
- How to play
- How to eat
- How to train
- How to mentally prepare
- How to practice
- How to identify and work on your weaknesses
- How to understand game strategy and organizational philosophy
These development plans are all customized for each individual in the organization. Having a plan, and executing it, is the best way to make your investment in a player reach its true potential.
It’s a fascinating process, one that happens behind the scenes of sports organizations at all levels. Because success equates to value...and failure costs time, money, and effort.
Over the last 40 years, one of the most respected men in baseball team management and player development has been Dan Duquette, former GM of the Red Sox, Orioles, and Expos.
The list of players he has acquired and developed into major league talent is stunning. I won’t list them all here...it’s too long. Dan joined me earlier this year to talk about his career, becoming an executive, his decision-making process, trusting yourself and a breakdown of player development.
During the month of December, we’ll be running back some of our most popular episodes from 2020, and we kick it off with 2-time MLB Executive of the Year...Dan Duquette
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