Editor's Desk - August 2014
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Get Educated

I recently attended a keynote speech about how to work with millennials, and, as is often the case with such topics, most of what you learn is applicable to every generation. One thing stuck out that really applies across the board: the misconception that anyone can learn anything on their own because of the exponential growth in access to information.

Why is this a misconception? Because it assumes that you can find exactly what you need to know on your own. But the fact is, when you don't know what you don't know, it's hard to figure out what you need to know on your own. This is where mentors and peers, and a good system of continuing education and training is a powerful tool. Ongoing learning is a critical tool in any field, for any generation, and recreation, sports and fitness facility management is no exception.

For example, you might have amassed plenty of experience with fitness programming, but if you switch jobs and now also have to manage a pool, you're not going to be able to do that without engaging in some training. You can't just go online and read about it, either. Because in the case of aquatics, not knowing what you need to know can make swimmers sick. Likewise, you might be a great coach, but that doesn't mean you know diddly about keeping a sports field in top playing condition. Again, finding the right resources is key. You need to talk to peers, mentors and industry experts to help you understand what you need to know. You might even need formal training and certification to prove that you've got it down.

This month, we delve into many of the problems faced by recreation, sports and fitness facility managers, and we offer solutions from across the industry. Reading up on industry news and expert advice is one way to get a step closer to knowing what you need to know. But don't stop there. Look for industry events that offer ongoing training, webinars that provide more detailed information, and talk to your peers about what they've done to grow their own knowledge.

It's never too late to get more educated. And we should never stop learning.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management