the 2017 youth football season is coming to an end. But, the season is not over for volunteers and coaches. Try these ideas to wrap up the 2017 season and roll smoothly into 2018.
Start 2018 registration now
Traditionally, football programs start registration in the Spring months and allow players to register into the summer. This can get stressful as you try to estimate numbers in June and July with practice getting ready to start. Parents might also miss your in-person registration dates and forget to register until the last minute (or not at all).
Offering online payment and registration options are easier than ever, and it just takes a few minutes to set up registration for the 2018 season. You can also offer incentives or discounts for parents who register early for 2018 - like 20% discount if you register before March 1, 2018. It may seem early to start registering players for 2018, but allowing players to get registered this Winter gives you a good feel for participation rates well in advance and allows parents that are still in "football mode" to get registered for next year before they get distracted next spring/summer.
Questions about setting up registration for 2018? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to get you started.
Collect feedback from volunteers, parents, and coaches
A solid group of volunteers and coaches can make or break your football program. Take some time to collect feedback from everyone who helped out this year to see how the season went, and ask for new ideas for 2018. You can call a quick meeting (and offer donuts or adult beverages) or just send an email asking for their feedback. This is an easy way to get some fresh ideas for next season and find out if anyone would like to change roles for 2018.
It's important to know how the season went for parents as well. Ask them how your registration, communication, and coaching were this season so you can improve for next year and make sure that everone feels like their voice is being heard (you don't necessarily have to listen to every idea, just make sure you hear them). You can ask parents for feedback using a simple online form (like Survey Monkey or Google Forms) and collect feedback quickly and anonymously.
Organize a Spring Event
NFL and College programs know that the Spring is a key time to get their teams ready for the upcoming football season. Your youth football program can do the same. A spring event can be a great way to register players early, generate excitement, recruit new volunteers and coaches. It also allows younger players and new parents get their "feet wet" with football without commiting to a full season.
Need a few ideas?
- Have a one day football and cheerleading camp organized by your coaches. You can offer the event for free on a Saturday afternoon.
- Start a flag football tournament and allow other communities to participate. The event can take place over a weekend and just require a handful of volunteer hours and very little equipment.
- Organize a fundraiser for adults only, like a coaches or Football 101 clinic or a chili cookoff.
Taking some time to wrap up the 2017 season and checking off a few to-dos for next year can be a huge help in getting the 2018 season off on the right foot. A little bit of organization now can save you a ton of work and stress when the spring comes around!
What is your football program doing to get ready for 2018? Send us a message at email@example.com or post a comment below!