What’s the best way to teach teamwork and cooperation? How can you blow off steam, make new friends, and stay active? By playing sports, of course! Engaging in sports teams and other recreational activities is a great way to keep healthy and happy. Yet, there are many variables to manage when it comes to coordinating a group of young athletes.
From fundraising endeavors to team management and event planning, there is a lot to balance to provide an effective and organized experience for the team members involved. Whether you’re in charge of a kids’ soccer team or a seniors’ bowling league, here are a few key tips to bring your team’s spirit to the next level.
With the right sports and recreation software solutions, you can:
- Boost team fundraising.
- Streamline registration.
- Simplify management processes.
- Optimize for mobile.
- Design team uniforms.
- Seek out sponsorships.
- Plan out schedules.
- Strengthen communication.
Ready to get started? Let’s jump in.
1. Boost team fundraising.
From jerseys and equipment costs to tournament and travel expenses, you’ll need a bit of funding to get started with your new sports team or league. You know you don’t want to spend all your time soliciting donations, but you may need to host a fundraiser or two to reach your funding goals. Here are a few tips for creating an effective fundraising strategy:
- Utilize fundraising software. One of the essential tools you’ll need to increase your fundraising revenue is an online donation page or dedicated crowdfunding page. This way, you’ll have a solid infrastructure in place to promote your fundraisers to the community and collect donations in mere minutes.
- Host a unique fundraising campaign. Running the same fundraisers year after year can get quite boring and end up leading to donor burnout. How can you boost donations and get the local community involved with your team? Switch things up with some fresh new campaigns, like these unique fundraising ideas from Funds2Orgs.
- Personalize your fundraiser. Try to relate your fundraisers to your specific sport for a more personalized approach. For example, a running club could collect gently worn, used and new running shoes in a shoe drive fundraiser, while a basketball team could host a shoot-a-thon pledge fundraiser. Check out these other sports-related fundraisers for new ideas!
- Make it a team bonding experience. Fundraising is often treated as a chore, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you position your fundraisers as an exciting way to get to know fellow players, you can strengthen teammate relationships while also earning money! If you throw in a challenge, you can bring out the competitive side of players and turn your fundraising into a game in and of itself.
2. Streamline registration.
When you improve the registration process and make it quick and easy for participants to sign up for your teams, you increase the likelihood of sign-ups and boost the participation rate. This way, you’ll have more and fuller teams! On the other hand, if registration is too complicated or inflexible, you run the risk of losing out on potentially interested players.
Don’t make players take time from their already-busy schedules to come in and sign some forms. You’ll boost involvement if you offer online registration right on your website. When you allow your registration to be easily accessible for all, you may exponentially increase the number of participants who get involved—after all, the more, the merrier!
3. Simplify management processes.
Picture this: it’s the first day of basketball practice for your new team. By the time your players have arrived, signed liability waivers, and completed all of the other pregame tasks, you look at your watch and—oh no—practice is over.
You don’t want to spend your valuable (and limited!) playing time dealing with mundane management processes, and neither do your players. According to CommunityPass, with the right recreation management software, you can get a lot of those logistic details out of the way ahead of time.
Encourage participants to complete these processes beforehand:
- Signing waivers: With the implementation of digital liability waivers, you can have all the legal paperwork completed beforehand and prepare for a safe and secure season.
- Processing payments: Online payment processors are great, because they increase the type of payments you’re able to accept—including cash, check, credit, debit, Apple Pay, and more.
- Ordering uniforms: Right along with the initial registration process, be sure to ask players for their t-shirt or jersey size, so you’ll be able to order the right sizes and number of uniforms. Take all the potential complications out of that process as well!
4. Optimize for mobile.
Not only should you ensure that these necessary, albeit mundane, processes can be completed online, but make sure to keep things mobile-friendly as well. This way, you’ll be able to meet busy players and parents right where they are—on their phones.
Individuals should be able to register, pay, and sign forms right from their cell phones at their own convenience, whether that is during their daily commute, waiting in a pickup line, or out at dinner. You don’t want them to say they’ll sign later when they have access to a computer, or they might forget. Life today is always on-the-go, so you’ll have to keep up!
5. Design team uniforms.
A uniform is a great way to garner team spirit and boost morale. When the whole team is dressed in a similar uniform, the visual similarities lead to a strengthened connection between players. A team t-shirt or jersey is typical, but some teams choose to match their bottoms and/or shoes as well.
Uniforms offer the following benefits to your team:
You can choose a team color, and allow each player to choose their number as well! Consider ordering custom-designed uniforms with each player’s name inscribed for extra personalization.
6. Seek out sponsorships.
In addition to generous donations from families and individual community members, it’s a good idea to seek out partnerships with local businesses. Sponsorships are great opportunities both for your sports team in the form of funding and the business partner in the form of advertising and boosted PR.
Consider reaching out to:
- Professional sports teams
- Local businesses
- Chain restaurants
- Agencies and firms
When you do so, be sure to emphasize the benefits you can offer them. For example, you could have the business logo printed on your custom uniforms or a banner hanging in the stadium or sports facility. As you reach out to potential partners in your community, consider using these sponsorship letter templates to ease your correspondence.
7. Plan out schedules.
Managing schedules is another key element of running a successful sports team. While it tends to be simplest to keep schedules consistent, sometimes that is just not possible. Try to hold practices on the same evening each week to allow team members to plan ahead of time.
You have to balance the availability of many key factors, including:
- The facility
- Team members
8. Strengthen communication.
Communication is crucial among coaches, team members, and league management. As a result, finding a tool with automated messaging capabilities is a must-have for sports and recreation software.
Try to keep an open line of communication between management and players through digital tools. This way, you’ll be able to transmit necessary information easily, and no one will miss out on critical details! For example, you’ll be able to update your team if a game gets rained out, practice is rescheduled, or you need to add an extra meeting.
Additionally, you’ll want to allow for two-way communication so that players can send messages to you as well. It can come in handy when a team member needs to give you a heads up that they will be late to practice or missing a game. You don’t want to be caught off guard by not knowing where your players are!
When you implement these 8 top tips into the management and administration of your sports team, you’ll soon notice critical differences (and improvements!) in the way your team is run. You can adjust each strategy to fit your respective team and its players to create a personalized approach—and boost team spirit for all!
This guest post was contributed by Funds2Orgs.
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises (EE) and a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, which is a social enterprise that helps schools, churches, nonprofits, individuals and other organizations raise funds while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations.
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