We all know that wrestling season never ends. But, there is certainly a time of year that is most common to collect payments and information for the upcoming season, and it is now!
Over the years we've learned a few best practices from successful wrestling programs. Try these tips to get the 2017-18 season off on the right foot.
Open registration early
Families try to plan their schedules months in advance, so the earlier you can open registration for the wrestling season the better. You may not start practicing until October or November, but starting registration in the late summer gets wrestlers and their parents excited for the season ahead, and also gives you the option to run some optional events between now and the official start of the season.
Your club can also get a better idea of what your budget will look like, how many volunteers you'll need, and the apparel orders you need to place well in advance.
Many wrestling programs also offer a small discount to parents that register their wrestler early. If you want more wrestlers to participate, the earlier you open registration, the better.
Don't Over-Collect Information
It's super important you collect all important information about each wrestler and their parents during the registration process. But, try to keep in mind that parents are busy, and the easier you can make their registration experience the more likely they'll be to recommend your club to other families.
We've noticed a lot of clubs use confusing and complex forms that take parents too much time to complete. Do you really need to know the phone number for the family dentist? Or could you get by with only the most important contact information?
Also, by collecting more information during the registration process you create more work for yourself after registration is over and you need to sort through the data.
The more information you collect, the more likely it is for parents to make mistakes as they rush through the form. Collecting only important information will ensure you get reliable answers about each wrestler, and save yourself time once registration is over.
Parents get stressed out when they have to answer too many questions registering for wrestling season. Don't make it hard on them.
Keep the Fees Simple
By keeping your pricing simple, it causes less confusion and results in fewer mistakes.
Are you thinking of offering different prices for different age groups, or multi-tiered discounts for this or that? We suggest reducing the number of complicated fees, and charging a standard for each wrestler. It makes the lives of board members and coaches easier, and eliminates some of the potential for confusion.
Limit Payment Options
The more options you give the participants, the more work you'll wind up creating for yourself. We recommend giving parents one option to pay: Online. More and more wrestling organizations are turning to online payments registration, and it is making their lives easier. Online payments are more secure now than collecting cash and check and can save you hours of time managing wrestler information.
You may have a few parents that make a special request to pay with cash or check, and those can be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, the vast majority of parents will be fine paying with whichever method is easiest for you, and you'll save yourself loads of paperwork and trips to the bank.
Doing a little planning in advance will reduce your stress level as the wrestling season gets into full swing. Open up registration early, keep the process simple for yourself and for parents, and offer an online payment option for convenience, and you'll be ready to go for the season before you know it.
What other wrestling registration tips do you have? Send me an email at email@example.com or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.