9 Ways to Make it Easier to Run Your Club
Running a Sports Club isn’t always easy – but it can be
Sports Community has been working with and helping sports club committees and volunteers since 2012. When working one-on-one with clubs and their amazing volunteers, our focus has always been “how do we make it as easy as possible when running a sports club?” This is a question we get asked continually – solets list some of the most effective strategies being used by successful clubs. These strategies will make it as easy as possible to run a sports club.
Clearly define your club’s goals
The definition for leadership we have adopted at Sports Community was created by American leadership guru Kevin Kruse. He defines leadership as:
“the process of social influence, that maximises the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”
If, like us, you adopt this definition then you can’t have effective leadership without defining your club goals. Goal definition should not be limited to simply a strategic or long-term perspective. Successful clubs have articulated goals for all operational roles, and incorporate these goals into position descriptions.
Introduce and use an online, cloud-based accounting system
One of the most important responsibilities of a Treasurer is to empower the committee to finically run the club. To do this, the Treasurer must ensure all of the clubs financial transactions are recorded in an accounting system accurately. You should then go on to generate and analyse the reports. Then, provide them to the committee. So many clubs run their financial accounts on a spreadsheet, making it a hugely time-consuming effort to simply get information to the committee.
Using an online, cloud-based accounting system does require the payment of a small license fee ($300 – $1,000 per year.) The benefits are huge in the value it provides, and even greater in the work that it will save Treasurers, making the small fees totally worth it.
Collect revenues and pay expenses online
Today, people prefer not to make payments using cash or cheques. Clubs should take advantage of this consumer preference and introduce online payment functionality to collect its revenues.
Your club website can become the engine that drives this innovation with many clubs now making it possible to pay for memberships, sponsorships, social event ticketing online. Clubs are setting up online shops for the purchase of club merchandise and apparel and even using online fundraising strategies.
We are seeing clubs introduce Point of Sale (POS) and EFTPOS machines into their canteens and bars. Making it even easier for people to transact with their club.
One of the most influential people at a club is a club coach. Coaches have the ability to influence an athletes sporting development, personal development and, equally important, their enjoyment of participating in club activities.
A great way to empower and support coaches is to ensure they complete coaching accreditation courses. Accreditation courses, usually run by the peak sports body, are a fantastic way to develop the skills and abilities of your club’s coaches.
Young coach mentoring program
A great way to build the capacity of your clubs future coaches is to provide coaching opportunities to players at an early age. Younger players (14 – 18 yo) can be given assistant coaching roles with to give them a taste of coaching in a safe and supportive environment.
These types of programs provide a huge level of personal development for the young coaches while ensuring that the club has a large pool of future coaches.
Actively engage parents and partners
A common behaviour of “successful clubs” is at the start of each season they consciously spend a lot of time engaging parents and partners of the players. They actively engage the friends and family of their athletes/players. They create a sense of belonging between this group and the clubs.
Engaging this group is sometimes not easy but the benefits are huge. You have the capacity to increase your clubs pool of potential volunteers. It will significantly increase the likelihood that this group will attend social and fundraising functions. And, it will ensure your club is a more sustainable and inclusive club.
Give every athlete/player a job
The most compelling characteristic of successful clubs is that they have a culture of volunteering. Cultures are created and developed so every athlete/player should be contributing to the running and success of your club, not just on the sporting “field” but more importantly off it.
You can delegate tasks to the youngest of players, to complete at each training and game day. This could be to bring the equipment used in and out, to pick up the rubbish and put it in bins or other small jobs that need to be done.
As the athletes/players get older the jobs change but not the expectation to contribute to the club.
Create photo yearbooks
Take the time to capture the people, events and achievements of the year. A great way to do this is to create a photo book. There are heaps of options to do so, which can be easily done online. We work with so many clubs who are trying to discover the history of the club. Clubs are already putting a lot of information into their annual reports to members, so this information can be used as the base.
Imaging if your club recorded its history as it was happening annually. It would be amazing. Photo books are also a great fundraiser with most athletes/players wanting to retain a memento of their year at the club.
Socialise, socialise, socialise
Research shows that nearly half of all people that join sports clubs do so for social reasons. A common characteristic of sustainable clubs is that they have developed a really strong social side to their club. People come together, get to know each other and over time become friends.
Social functions don’t always have to be grand, like a mid-season ball. They can simply be to come together after the weekends sporting activities for a meal or for the parents or partners to sit together during the games/events.
It is friendships that create great clubs. People willing to come together, to work together, toward the achievement of the club goals.
Take the time to go through this list and consider how you club rates for each idea. There are many other ways to think about when running a sports club but for us, these nine ideas are a great place to start.