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Starting a New Youth Sports Club

How One Dedicated Mom Started A New Youth Soccer Club


You will need to collect extra fees to cover the cost of membership in the national organization for each coach and player, as they will be required to present their membership cards before each game as proof of age and qualification.  Be sure that each coach laminates the cards, punches them and keeps them on a large key ring so they can be taken off quickly and handed to the players when they line up to meet the refs.  Lamination keeps the signature from blurring, which might potentially eliminate a player.


You will need to select the coaches very carefully.  If you have time to draft your own list of requirements and ask each potential coach to sign an agreement it will make everyone's life easier.  Remember that the reason you are starting your own club is because of the problems with the existing league or club and most times it is because of poor coaches and administration.  Since you are writing on a clean slate, this is an excellent time to approach mothers to ask if they will coach, as they are more apt to become involved if they know they are wanted, needed and will not be joining a club which may have a pre-existing bias against women as coaches.

You also need to make sure that whoever volunteers to coach appreciates the time commitment that will be required.  Too many times a parent will volunteer not knowing that they will have to run two practices a week, and clear a three hour chunk of time for a game on Saturday or Sunday.  If you are coaching baseball or softball, it is possible you will practice or play a game three weekday nights, and will also play one weekend game.  If a coaching candidate cannot commit to the time needed to do the very best job, he or she should step aside and let someone who has the time to do the job to step forward.   If volunteers are scarce, consider creating co-coaching teams (ideally, a man and a woman) and then make sure that parents and players know up front that co-coaching is necessary because the coaches' other commitments will conflict with some of the practices and games.


In order to have a successful club you need to have enough players in enough age groups to stock teams with enough players to avoid forfeits. It is also important to have enough players to give each a free game pass that they can use to miss a game during the season without being penalized (as long, of course, as they tell the coach in advance).


As you are starting a new club, find what each player's family is willing to do to help make it successful.  Put together a list of ways they can help, distribute the list to each family and ask parents to volunteer as they see fit.  You will usually find that parents of players in the new club will be so thankful that their child or children is being given a chance to play that they were willing to do just about anything that is needed.  When parents are part of the team and feel they are appreciated, stress levels go down all around and the harmony is contagious.  It similar to hosting a pot-luck supper: giving everyone a small task makes them vested in the outcome and reduces the stress for everyone, most especially the coach.

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