Treating Drill Team Like A Business....
by Joyce E. Pennington

Everyone always thinks of a million reasons to procrastinate in taking the steps to get organized. As a result, we end up spending more time searching for that small piece of paper with that fund raiser's name or that catalog we saw with the $5 poms. What each of us must do is find a week within the year that will be our annual "Organization Week" and make the rest of the year run more smoothly with a small time investment. Below are listed some helpful steps in making any director's year much easier and more organized. We must think of our team duties as a "job" or "business" with employees, corporate officer, budgets, expense account, company records, etc. Once you have all of your information filed and at your fingertips, it is easy to continue and maintain as well as finding the extra time that you long for during your drill team season.

Buy a large packet of manila file folders for all of the flyers and brochures to be filed in your file cabinet drawer under "SUPPLIERS'. Here are some titles for folders you will need for a good start: DANCEWEAR, COSTUMES, UNIFORMS, COMPETITIONS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, AWARDS, FUND-RAISERS, BAGS, PROPS, PRACTICE WEAR, EMBROIDERY, SPIRIT SUPPLIES. NEVER have a "miscellaneous" file because it will get full and you will be back to square one searching for what you need. As you find new areas, make new file titles.

Make sure to save all your vendor phone numbers and emails in your cell phone. This will save you time if you are needing to make a quick phone call without your catalog handy.

Articles on Organization

Your Student Teacher
Surviving Budget Cuts
Big Sis/Lil' Sis
Block Scheduling
When a Member Quits
Spring Show Mania
Delegating Duties
Drill Team Constitutions
Saving Sense: Deductions
Director Organization 
Director Etiquette
Drill Team as a Business
Importance of Discipline
Jots from Joyce
Team Training Needs
Music/Band Coordination

Go to a discount business supplier and purchase several large 3 ring binders and a couple of packages of dividers. Take your frequently used flyers or catalogs and have your local quick printer to "3 hole drill" them for a 3 ring binder. Label your dividers with the subjects mentioned in the first paragraph and have on your desk for easy reference.

In another 3 ring binder you will want to organize your educational reference material that you have received from the various workshops and conventions you have attended as well as special articles in newsletters and magazines. Here are some of the topics you might need for your dividers: PROPS & COSTUMES, STRETCHING & EXERCISE, MARCHING, CHOREOGRAPHY, PUBLIC RELATIONS, COMPETITIONS, MOTIVATION, TRYOUTS (OFFICER & LINE), RULES & REGULATIONS, DUTIES FOR OFFICERS, DISCIPLINE, ORGANIZATION, PARENTS, and FORMS. You may need to add or delete some areas to fit the special profile of your team. Keep a hole punch handy to assist you in filing information throughout the year.

Forms can be a life saver when keeping up with each team member and your team activities. Have a special notebook or clip board that you carry with you at all times. On this you should have a calendar of the months in your season. If you have a problem with a team member, document this on your calendar for future reference. When you have a parent conference, document this also.

Type up an Excel spreadsheet with your team member's names in alphabetical order with one blank on either side of her name. At the top of the page, print "List for_________________". Make about 25 copies to start the year and utilize them for taking sizes, money, roll call, ordering, etc. Date it and file in your team notebook for reference and documentation.

Write out job descriptions for your helpers, instructors, managers and officers. This way everyone will know exactly what is expected of them as well as their continuing responsibilities. This will make your season run smoother

For motivation, have a team motto or weekly motto that will inspire the team to work hard. There are many of these you can find in inspirational books at your local book store, gift store or library.

COMMUNICATION is the key to the success of your program. Good open lines of communication need to be established with your parents, school and team members. Make a special file folder for your principal, booster club president or league chairman to send her/him copies of all communications. If a parent calls, they will have all the copies in front of them as well.

Always be a good LISTENER. Even if a parent or child is upset, they need to feel that their problem is very important. Many times just the act of listening will usually resolve the problem.

Always remember that you are a role model for your team. How you act and react to certain situations will certainly reflect their behavior. ALWAYS BE A LADY!!

*Remember that taking a little time now to get organized will save you an abundance of time in the future--time you can use to put your feet up and take some well deserved moments of relaxation!


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