Coaches cannot act professionally without management skills

Urta Rozenstruik has earned her reputation in both athletics and in bobsleigh. She made a transition to professional coaching and believes you have to keep developing your sport management skills, in order to be able to optimize the performances of yourself and your athletes.

Urta Rozenstruik has earned her reputation in both athletics and in bobsleigh. She started her career at AAC, the Amsterdam Athletics club, where she trained as a sprinter. She achieved her best performance in 2000, when she won a bronze medal at the national indoor championships in Ghent. In 2002, she switched to bobsled and competed at the Winter Olympics in Turin. Today, she is back in athletics working as a trainer and – more recently – trainer coordinator at two clubs, Phanos Amsterdam and AV Passat Papendrecht.

A switch from athletics to bobsled may sound weird and it was born out of circumstances. I’d had a difficult year in athletics with injuries and was recently recovered. I accepted the offer and ended up staying for 10 years in bobsledding. Besides the technique, there are many similarities between the two sports. It’s about explosiveness! You have to push to be a hundredth of a second faster, and then you just need to add a lot of courage in bobsledding for the descent.

Urta Rozenstruik - Athletics - Master Sport Management

A few years ago I made the transition from an active sports career to professional coaching. I’m an athletic, bobsleigh and skeleton coach. As a coach you have to keep developing yourself, in order to be able to optimize the performances of your athletes. I believe that if I would have had myself as a coach, I would have performed better as an athlete. Coaches nowadays know so much more! There are more educational opportunities for the coaches themselves, and there are many more resources available, such as physiotherapists, nutritionists and video analysis.

That’s the reason I made another career move that might look strange, but it isn’t: to sport management. Thanks to the Telesport scholarship, I’m now studying the Master in Sport Management at Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam. Knowledge about sport management helps me in my role as a trainer-coach and also in my job as coordinator in athletics. It helps me to be more aware of things, and I can make better decisions based on information. I’m more aware in my approach. And because I know myself better now, I also understand others better.

I also agree that, as a coach, you should be able to transfer management knowledge to your athletes. For example, it is important that they understand how financial affairs or accommodation are arranged. In a few years I hope, therefore, to continue to coach elite athletes, but with more skills in my pocket. Who knows, I might also become a manager, besides being a coach and coordinator. But one that will always be aiming to improve the performance of the athletes!

Telesport Scholarships
In collaboration with Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam, Telesport is offering two scholarships – one for the Master in Sport Management and one for the Master in Coaching – for the 2016-17 academic year. By doing so, Telesport contributes to the mission of Johan Cruyff Institute to educate the next generation of leaders in sport management. Check it out by clicking here

Related study programs
Johan Cruyff Institute uses a rich learning environment that fosters educational tools based on a
student interaction model. We aim for a mix of students from sports and business sectors, which also enables students to share their unique experiences and learn from each other. Students will engage actively in creative challenges that require effort, commitment and intuitive thinking. Visit these web pages to find out more about our Masters:

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