Rick Stainton: Teamwork!

Rick Stainton is a coach and former player who knows plenty about the importance of teamwork (Photo by Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos).

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Rick Stainton is back with another exclusive post for Resolution Sports. Check out what Rick has to say about some sports teamwork that goes unnoticed by most spectators.

Prior to my arrival at Sky Blue FC, I was an Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations at Seton Hall University, an experience I thoroughly enjoyed and learned much from. During the offseason, I had the opportunity to remain connected with Seton Hall by working operations with their Men’s and Women’s Basketball Programs.

For the Men’s program, I probably have the best job available. I follow Coach Kevin Williard around, assisting in any way I can and making sure only the approved/credentialed people are in the appropriate locker room and media areas.

For the Women’s program, I assist with the head table. This head table hosts all the Sports Information Directors, Sport Administrators, Announcers, Scorekeepers, Timekeepers and Official Bookkeeper. In all, there are 13 people who sit at the table in an effort to operate a basketball game.

I had the opportunity to work the main score clock on Saturday, Nov. 20 when the SHU Women hosted LSU in the Anaconda “The Rock” Annual Women’s Basketball Tournament at SHU. It’s an event I worked many times prior, just not in the position of managing the clock.

I learned, on this day, that teamwork is essential by the referees and table officials to effectively manage a successful basketball game. As fans/spectators, we watch the teamwork performed and executed on the court by the coaches and players, but in your next game, take a minute to watch the “going-ons” with the table and referees. They are communicating and working extremely hard to be “on their game” as well.

Specifically, my job was to manage the clock, maintain the score, fouls, horn the substitutions, and time-outs (coaches and media). Sounds easy, right? Well I must say that I definitely couldn’t have done it without my teammates. We were constantly communicating. We commended each other with jobs well done. We encouraged each other as the game went on. We prepared each other in the event that something was to happen. Everyone was and needed to be sharp. No one wanted to make a mistake. No one wanted to affect the game in a manner that shouldn’t be. Just like the athletes, we were there to achieve something.

The referees rely on us as we do the same with them. We are in constant contact. Means of communications could be through their electronic timing packs, verbal communication, and visual cues. Prior to the game we all meet, just like the team does. We have our pre-game discussions, perform during the game, and finish by shaking hands.

Interesting, isn’t it? I know what you will be looking for during your next watched basketball game. Though as fans, we are all there for the game itself. It’s not hard to realize that a lot of the detail and work behind the scenes goes unnoticed.

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