Reflections on Return to Sport – An autoethnography of my experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic…

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented community sport organizations with unique opportunities to reflect and rethink their practices (Fullagar, 2020). This study presents an autoethnography, in which I study myself within my context as a Technical Leader for a community sport organization (CSO) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study attempted to identify factors that impact and improve CSO effectiveness, survival and resilience during the pandemic. Additionally, I explored the features that were most impactful to my ability to carry out my role and be effective for the club. Through the autoethnographic process, I observed leader dedication, tight coordination and control, dedicated staff, and open communication to be essential features of organizational capacity and resilience during the pandemic. I also observed environmental instability, failures to retain staff and inter-organizational conflict to limit the club’s ability to be effective during return to play, and my own effectiveness within my role. Through sharing my experiences, sporting organizations may gain a greater understanding of the features and necessary steps for efficient functioning and survival during an external environmental threat, such as a pandemic. Leaders and managers of CSOs may also gain valuable insight into how to effectively manage an organization through environmental uncertainty.