Running a wrestling club can be time consuming. There are schedules to manage, registration fees to collect, messages to send, social media accounts to update - not to mention actually coaching the wrestlers. Unless you have a tech guru coach or parent that volunteers, building and maintaining a website can be a big task to undertake.
But, with the right strategy in mind it's not too difficult to get started, and can just require 15 minutes a week to keep it up to date.
Where do you start? Follow these tips to set up and maintain your website in 2018...
Tip 1 to build a youth wrestling website - Make sure it's easy to use
Creating and managing a website can seem like an overwhelming task. 10 years ago, it typically took a real tech whiz to build and maintain a professional website.
Nowadays, many websites are simple to manage and just take up a few minutes per week. If you're comfortable sending an email for work, or logging into Facebook, you should be capable of setting up and maintaining a simple website (you can try it on Jersey Watch in just a couple minutes).
You can also use a website system that's made for sports so you don't have to build everything from scratch.
Wrestling volunteers often look at building and maintaining the website as a burden. But that shouldn't be the case - the website should be helping save time for volunteers, coaches, and parents. Make sure the website is making your life easier, not adding work to your plate.
Tip 2 - Update your schedule early and often
Parents are constantly looking for updated information, and they often forget what you announced at practice or lose a printed schedule. Instead of fielding phone calls or answering emails, you can list everything on a website so that parents can easily access updated information without contacting you directly.
If your schedule is up-to-date on a website in the preseason and during the season, you'll spend less time answering questions and more time coaching wrestling.
When the season is over, don't forget about the website until next fall. In the offseason, make sure you've got upcoming events listed on your website like "First Day of Practice" or "Registration Begins". Parents will be Googling your organization year-round, so be sure that important information is always listed in case they are new to your program and want to learn more about when the season starts, how to get registered, etc.
A consistently up-to-date schedule is the first sign of a well organized club. The widget above uses the Scheduling feature on Jersey Watch.
Tip 3 - It had better work well on phones
Around 50% (maybe more) of your website visitors will be trying to find information about your program on their phone. If your website isn't made to work well on phones, you'll frustrate parents, coaches and participants.
The good news is it's simple to get a website that works well on any device, just make sure the website is "mobile responsive" so that visitors from phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops all get a smooth experience.
Make sure your website is easy to view from any device. It shouldn't require any extra work to make your website mobile friendly like the example Jersey Watch page here.
Bonus - many websites can be udpated from a phone so you can make changes on the go.
Tip 4 - Allow participants to register and pay online
Stats show that 80% of people prefer to pay with credit or debit card as opposed to cash/check. It's more secure, it's easier to track, it's convenient, and best of all it makes your life easier as a wrestling coach or volunteer.
The good news is that setting up online payments and collecting wrestler information (like birthdates, weights, experience level) is only becoming easier and easier. Even if you have no familiarity or experience collecting credit card payments or setting online forms, it just takes a couple minutes to get started. (Jersey Watch even has an all in one feature that can be set up in a few minutes).
Online payment options saves wrestling clubs a ton of time, and makes parents happy.
Still concerned about allowing participants to register and pay online? Check out our article with the 5 myths about Online Registration.
Tip 5 - Use the website as your hub for communication
Communicating quickly with participants, parents, and coaches is difficult. Parents and coaches often prefer different forms of communication (some live on Facebook, some prefer email, some just don't check anything).
Trying to keep everyone in the loop can be overwhelming, but if you use a website as the communication hub for your club you can save yourself time and recuce parent frustration. Websites are becoming more and more interactive, whether allowing visitors to post comments, or sending out emails and text messages to participants.
Find a simple system to send messages and keep your personal or work contact information private. Parents will enjoy getting a few updates per week during your season, and you can avoid the strain of trying to communicate with each person individually.
Most websites will also allow you to embed social media feeds directly on your page, so that any time you post to Facebook or Twitter the message will also be displayed on the website.
So remember, setting up a website for your wrestling club doesn't have to be an unwanted chore. A website should be saving you time, not creating more work for you. First, make sure your schedule is always updated and the website works well on phones so visitors can find information any time. Adding online registration options and using the website to communicate are also easy to set up, and can help you spend more time coaching wrestling and less time managing paperwork and answering questions.
Questions about setting up a website? Or other tips that you're using to run your club? Send us a message at email@example.com.
Want to get started on a website? Click here to give Jersey Watch a try.