We work with hundreds of athletic organizations of all sizes and at all levels, and we’ve learned that no matter the team or organization, the communication challenges are usually the same. Don't let these common communication errors stand in your way this season:1. Employing a one-size-fits-all approachYour audience (athletes, coaches, staff, parents & family, donors & fans, alumni, etc.) is a diverse group of people with different ages, backgrounds, and titles. Your goal is to capture everyone’s attention regardless of these differences. (By the way, the time you have to do this is on the decline. The average human attention span is now eight seconds. For the record, it’s nine seconds for goldfish…)2. Forgetting your audience doesn’t think like youNot only are there differences among your audience members, but there are also significant differences between YOU and your audience members! Be aware of these distinctions, especially when choosing what words to use. How can I communicate so my audience will best understand me?3. Using only one communication channelThe individuals in your audience will prefer a mix of communication methods (see chart from PIVOT: How Technology is Changing the Way Athletic Departments Communicate). Remember to step back and look at your overall communications strategy and pick the best format for the task at hand, whether it’s email, text messaging, verbal, face-to-face, etc.4. Not being clear & conciseGeorge Bernard Shaw, an Irish writer and co-founder of the London School of Economics, stated, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” It’s necessary to be direct in your messages and specific in what you want your audience to take away in order to maximize your interactions. Ask yourself: does my message have an obvious objective?5. Failing to invest in improvementIt can be incredibly difficult to get everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction, but the payoff is priceless. Look at communication in the same way you look at the other moving parts of your organization: as a conscious investment.About the Author: Mitch Heath, Teamworks' current Director of Operations, wears many hats here at Teamworks with his responsibilities including influencing the direction of the product, serving as the liaison between clients and developers, and helping craft the strategy and vision of where Teamworks is heading.