June 2010


Silicon and the Development of Gray Leaf Spot on Perennial Ryegrass Turf

Click here to read how silicon amendments to the soil are shown to lessen the effects of gray leaf spot in perennial ryegrass. Research at Penn State University shows that as tissue silicon content increased with application of silicon to soils, disease incidence decreased in all four experimental soil and source combinations.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

Most Critical Managerial Trait in Bad Economies: Optimism

Managers, be they the newest to the most experienced, often enter "bunker mode" during bad economies and recessions. Sometimes paralyzed by fear-for their personal professional or company survival-managers seem frozen and unable to make creative decisions.

Unfortunately, bad economies demand more, not less, creativity from management. It is critical for managers to avoid adopting a "victim mentality," as this will only make a bad situation worse. The demand for enhanced creativity is absolute, as new territories need be discovered to overcome the challenges of recessions. With fewer customers, dollars, and demand, bad economies eliminate the ability of "status quo" strategies to deliver success.

The key to creativity, new ideas, and a "refuse to lose" mentality: optimism. Those who question this requirement should ask themselves, "How will pessimism or status quo help me or my company succeed in this environment?" You will be hard pressed to find any recognized management expert recommend pessimistic or status quo strategies during recessions-or in any environments.

Negative thought never achieves anything but negative results. Status quo, particularly in troubled times, can be just as dangerous, only your demise may be slower and more painful. Optimism, however, gives you the opportunity to succeed. While stellar results are not guaranteed (are they ever?), you'll strongly increase your odds of success.

How to Use Managerial Optimism Correctly to Achieve Success
French psychologists have coined a wonderful phrase for the best strategy. They deem it "intelligent optimism." It's important to differentiate pure theoretical optimism from reality-based positive strategies. Instead of wishing and hoping for good results, managers must understand that they need to take action and understand those components they can control and those that are outside their purview.
Here are some tips to use real-world optimism to its fullest as the single most critical trait of bad economy management.

• Admit that the economy has gone south. Denying or ignoring this unfortunate reality makes it more difficult to employ intelligent optimism as an effective strategy.
• Focus only on that which you can control and ignore that which you cannot. Do you have enough time to accomplish all your targets in any given day, week, or month? Do you know any managers who do? Probably not. Bad economies mandate that you maximize your available time and effort on those issues over which you have control. Wasting time focusing on those negative components, analyzing or agonizing, that are outside of your control can be expensive and dangerous. Concentrate (optimistically) on those issues you can change, modify, improve, and/or eliminate.
• Get in a Planning Mode. Now is the time to take a critical look at your operations and make plans for your facility's future success. Adapt and modify what is necessary to survive now, but develop a plan for where your organization needs to be in the long term. Re-engineering processes now can lead to stronger operations that can adapt to new opportunities.
• Avoid, at all costs, adopting a "victim" mentality. Becoming a "victim" establishes two damaging psychological barriers to success. First, this implies that the economy, company, and workplace problems are all about you. Since you probably had little or no control over the economy, overall company problems, or workplace issues, becoming frozen in time for illogical and useless reasons only hurts your management efforts. Second, feeling like a victim makes it much more challenging to adopt the required optimistic mentality. Your management brain will engage in a mental "tug of war," with the victim feelings counteracting the intelligent optimism you need to succeed.
• Focus on the tools you have; not on what you're lacking. Those who understand the principles of the Law of Attraction realize how critical this tip is to achievement. Concentrating on that which you lack only delivers more of the unfortunate shortage. It's also a wasteful way to spend your valuable time. Believing that you have "enough" and working to maximize the tools and resources you have will give you the power to achieve.
• Spread the optimism around. Contagiousness is one important feature of optimism. Supporting and creating optimism will spread to others, peers and senior management alike. Along with helping your own career, you may be a catalyst for a general company resurgence by exhibiting your intelligent optimism.
• Walk away from negative conversations. Do not participate in the many workplace conversations usually featured by employees complaining, expressing fear of disaster, and/or whining about conditions. Resist the temptation to jump in and further sell your optimism. Unfortunately, interjecting good thoughts into a few peers while they are having a "pity party" might turn their negativism in your direction.

Spread your optimism via words (when appropriate) and behavior consistently. Turning your positive outlook on and off sends confusing messages to your peers and senior management. Consistency is the critical component.

Remember, intelligent optimism is the most effective strategy. By acknowledging that economic problems exist exhibits your understanding of the realities of the marketplace. This stance increases the value of your optimism. It shows that you are not living in a fantasy world. You admit the current day problems, but, instead of whining about the situation, you choose to move forward with creativity, commitment, and positive thoughts.

Adapted from Smart Manager, www.Kellyservices.com

News You Can Use

Austin Hilton Reservations Now Open

The Austin Hilton, the host hotel for the STMA Annual Conference, is now taking hotel room reservations for the conference. To book your room, call 1-800-HILTONS, or 
book on-line here. The room rate is $169 + taxes per night based on single or double occupancy.

Aggies, Longhorns, and Round Rock Express Featured on Conference Tours

The STMA Conference Tours are set! On Tues., Jan. 11, participants will travel to Texas A&M at College Station to see the NCAA Division One - Big 12 Conference sports facilities. These include softball, soccer, baseball, outdoor and indoor football practice facilities, indoor track, outdoor rack, Kyle Field football stadium and the sizable intramural sports field complex. This tour will also include a stop at Veterans Park, College Station's large municipal recreation complex.

The second tour, which is on Wed., Jan. 12, will see the unique facilities at the University of Texas-Austin, another NCAA Division One - Big 12 conference school. The tour of these facilities will provide a very different experience from the previous day. This tour will also go to the Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

The early bird conference tour prices remain unchanged from previous years at $60, which includes transportation and lunch.

Summer Maintenance Calendars: June through August!

If you are looking for guidelines to maintain your athletic fields, look no further! STMA has compiled maintenance calendars for each climatic region that outline specific practices necessary for June, July and August. These calendars make recommendations for the maintenance necessary each month and why it is necessary. They also advise timing, amounts and frequencies to keep your athletic fields in top playing condition. Click below to view the cool season and warm season calendars.

Cool Season Athletic Field Maintenance Calendar
Warm Season Athletic Field Maintenance Calendar
Transition Zone Athletic Field Maintenance Calendar

Former Cowboy Daryl Johnston to Keynote STMA Conference

We are very pleased to announce that Daryl Johnston, a three-time Super Bowl champion, two-time NFL All-Pro, and current NFL on Fox television analyst, has agreed to give the Keynote Speech at the 2011 STMA Conference and Exhibition, Jan. 11-15, in Austin, Tex.

Johnston played fullback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1989-1999, winning three Super Bowls (1992, 1993, 1995) and appearing in two NFL Pro Bowls (1993, 1994), including the first ever selection of a fullback in 1993. While not known for his prowess as a runner or receiver, but as a devastating blocker, Johnston was an integral part of the Cowboys dynasty and was considered a leader on and off the field. 

After retiring from the NFL in 1999 due to an unexpected neck injury, Johnston joined NFL on Fox in 2001 and was immediately placed on the second broadcast team. He is incredibly active in the community of his adopted home of Dallas, Tex., where he lives with his wife and two children.

You can bet that his speech will be a "can't miss" event at the conference!

For more information, contact STMA at 800-323-3875.

Regional Conference to Feature Tours of Major League Facilities

Attendees at the Northwest Regional Conference, July 21-22 in Seattle, Wash., will be treated to in depth, behind the scenes tours of some of the finest facilities in all of professional sports. 

Bob Christofferson, Head Groundskeeper at Safeco Field will kick things off on Wed., July 21, with a walking tour of Safeco, where he and his assistants will answer questions about their state-of-the-art stadium. 

Also on Wednesday, attendees will be bused to Starfire Sports, which serves as the training home for the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer. There, Juan Saravia, Facility Manager will provide an in-depth look at the one-of-a-kind in the northwest, 501(c)(3) facility. 

On Thursday, Sean Vanos, Fields and Grounds Manager, and John Wright, Director of Fields and Facilities, will give walking tours of Qwest Field and Virginia Mason Athletic Center, both homes of the Seattle Seahawks. Also taking part in these tours, and lending an academic perspective to them, will be Drs. Andy McNitt and Dave Minner, from Penn State and Iowa State, respectively.

As you can see, the two days in Seattle are chocked full of tours, but there's plenty of education, a trade show, a baseball game, and much more going on at the Northwest Regional Conference and Exhibition. If you are interested in attending this fantastic educational opportunity, please 
download the registration form.

Nominate STMA Members for Most Influential People in the Green Industry

SportsTurf Magazine, and the other Green Media publications (Arbor Age, Landscape and Irrigation, and Outdoor Power Equipment) will be recognizing the "Most Influential People in the Green Industry" in upcoming issues of the publications. This group-wide editorial effort is open to professionals throughout the Green Industry.

Those persons nominated by STMA members should be important voices in the sports turf industry - leaders whose impact on our industry has been widespread and influential to others, or has changed the way other professionals do business.

The people chosen as the "Most Influential People in the Green Industry" will be profiled in our group of industry publications in a future issue. Entries must be submitted no later than July 16, 2010 to be considered.

To nominate yourself or someone you know in the Green Industry, please 
click here. (Please note that nominations are anonymous)

STMA Members Can Showcase Their Water Savvy & Impact on Recreation

Peer associations, the Irrigation Association (IA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) are each celebrating their respective industries in July. The work of STMA members has a fundamental connection to these associations' goals.

IA's Smart Irrigation Month is an opportunity to draw attention to water-saving practices and services. STMA members use efficient and effective irrigation in managing athletic fields and now can more visibly show athletes, fans and the community just how committed they are to good water stewardship. During July, STMA members are encouraged to promote their water conservation practices. 

Here are 5 ways you can gain exposure for your contributions to water conservation:
1. Use the Smart Irrigation logo on all correspondence (including email) during July to raise awareness.
2. Write an article about your water conservation efforts for your local paper, sports field user group newsletter, industry publications such as your local chapter newsletter or STMA's SportsTurf Magazine.
3. Contact your local environmental news reporter to establish yourself as a resource for him/her for water conservation information now and in the future. 
4. Post your watering plan and schedule to show how your management program adapts to the weather and other geographic, topographic and agronomic conditions. 
5. Share your expertise by offering to present tips on efficient and effective water use to a local service or civic club.

Since 1985, the NRPA has celebrated July as the nation's official Park and Recreation month. This year's theme is "Celebrate, Advocate, Recreate!" NRPA encourages members, agencies, and citizens to plan events and initiatives that remind local decision makers and the community of the vital role that parks and recreation play in our lives. STMA's largest segment of its membership take care of municipal facilities and have a huge impact on the safety of these facilities.

Here are 5 ways you can promote your impact on recreation:
1. Use the NRPA Celebrate, Advocate, Recreate graphic in your email and other communications.
2. Write an article for your local paper or user groups' publications about field overuse and explain how your management practices are designed to minimize wear. 
3. Attend a youth sport clinic and give a short presentation about the field and the importance of a safe playing surface to avoid injuries. Explain how the young athletes can help to take care of the field.
4. Use the STMA Playing Condition Index (PCI) to remind your employer of the resources currently devoted to the field and to substantiate any needs for additional resources.
5. Work with your recreation programmer to include field information and a presentation by you at appropriate events. The NRPA Tool Kit has many ideas for your programmer and numbers 13, 24, 38 and 46, are especially appropriate for your involvement.

International Resources