ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located at Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida hosts up to 10 soccer tournaments every year, executed in seamless fashion. With the variety of events, competition levels and scheduling, it takes a tournament director to ensure that the event runs smoothly. This role is in charge of piecing together the event and is the go-to person for everything about the tournament.
If your athlete's team has ever participated in a Disney Soccer tournament, you may be familiar with the name Mark Luster, who has served as the Disney Soccer Tournament Director for 150+ events over the last 19 years.
When asked what qualifications are needed for this position, Mark shared the following insight:
- Specific sport knowledge - Whether it comes from previous playing, coaching or referee experience, this person must understand the rules of the sport and be willing and able to enforce them.
- Problem solving - Must be a quick thinker and negotiator, with a calm demeanor, to handle stressful situations. Guest service and people skills are vital to communicate clearly.
- Education - Even though Mark doesn't have a degree in sport management, he feels in this day and age it would be a plus.
When asked about the development process of Disney Soccer events, Mark explained his "Five Pillars of a Successful Soccer Tournament."
1. Quality of Venue - Grass, fields, amenities (lines, bleachers, benches, etc.)
2. Quality of Competition - Matching teams based on competitive levels
3. Quality of Referees - Based on grade, experience and knowledge of sport
4. Quality of Operational Management - Determines how smoothly the event runs
5. Overall Value - A combination of all of the above
The most common misconception about sports careers is that you have to be a professional athlete to work in sports. As long as you have the knowledge and interest in the sport industry, there are many other career paths like a tournament director.
For more information about our Disney Soccer events visit DisneySoccer.com.