row2k Features
Top Three Ways Coaches Waste Money
April 18, 2005
Mike Davenport

What a frugal group us coaches can be. We scrimp, we budget, we fundraise - and we "do without" to make ends meet. In what many consider to be a very expensive sport we do our best to save a dollar. Yet, despite these efforts many coaches waste tons of money.

To show exactly what I mean I'm going to list the three tops ways that coaches-especially rowing coaches-waste money. Indeed, there are other ways but these three are tops. They also are ones that you can do something about quickly and easily, and hopefully save yourself a few dollars.

Wasteful Way #1: A Coach Doesn't Know What He Has
Boathouses, even the smallest ones, can be dark, cavernous places with a huge number of nooks and crannies. And in those places money can be hidden.

Too often coaches order new items, replacements parts, or spare bits and pieces needlessly. They already have the stuff, they just don't know it. This is the #1 way coaches waste money.

Suzie Orman has made one heck of a career out of giving financial advice. Some of it very simple. One tidbit I saw her present at a clinic really stood out and has saved me more than a few dollars-and it has the potential to save you thousands. That is to "know what you have."

To save money, look around the boathouse and storage areas. Have someone do an inventory, and list what you have on paper. You may surprise yourself.

Before you buy, know exactly what you have.

Wasteful Way #2: Waste a Naming Opportunity
Phil Schaaf wrote in his book Sports, Inc that, "the sports industry, essentially [is] a massive industry of selling. Teams sell tickets, broadcast rights, the backs of the chairs players sit on, virtual space, air space, billboard space, the names of buildings, kid zones, and anything that might have a value to a company outside the event."

Yet in our sport, time and time again, naming/money opportunities go wasted, we don't sell. Prime example-names on boats.

Wandering around a major regatta recently I noticed about half the boats had people's names on them. Probably a donor's name or honoring some person of note at the school. Good start. But on the other shells I saw names such as Excalibur, Wet Dream, and Zippy.

Imagine driving down the road and seeing a billboard with only the word "Spot" on it. The owner of the billboard decided to put up his dog's name instead of advertising. If he does that often think he will be in business long? Me neither.

Don't waste those opportunities, they are dollars waiting to happen.

Wasteful Method #3: Buy What You WANT, Not What You NEED
Entrepreneur magazine recently detailed how the price of what is now considered to be an impulse buy is around $100.00. Meaning that it is now expected that people in their wanderings around a store will spend one hundred dollars just on impulse, without giving it much thought. Buying what they want, and probably not what they need.

And you?

Do you buy items for your program/team that you desire, but don't really need? Yup, that new stroke watch sure would look cool around your neck, but do you need it?

Before you whip out your wallet figure out exactly what rowing equipment you need. Now don't panic; this is a lot easier than it sounds. Try this: First, let the emotions go. Second, look at the big picture. Third, go back to Wasteful Way #1, and make sure you know what you have already.

And why should you be motivated to save money, especially on those smaller purchases? Well, the average cost of a new eight is somewhere around $25.00 to $40.00 per inch. Being smart with your money on the small stuff might just help you greatly when it comes time to buy the big items.
Go Fast! (But Frugally!)

Mike Davenport is the author of the Nuts and Bolts Guide to Rigging. For more info on saving money check out his Special Report: Buy It Right: Eight Steps To Buying The Rowing Equipment You Need At The Price You Can Afford. It can be found at

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