A run of poor results at the start of the season can really knock a team’s confidence. Sport psychologist Dan Abrahams offers grassroots coaches four tips to help their teams get over a rocky opening to the campaign MORE
Six ways to get parents more involved
You can’t run a soccer club without recruiting volunteers. Here are six handy tips to encourage parents to start getting involved with your team.
01 APPEAL FOR HELP
Make it clear to parents that you’d appreciate any help they can give, whether it’s setting up before (or clearing up after) games; providing refreshments at half-time; or getting involved with the running of your club as a whole. You’ll be surprised how many people will offer to help but they may be a bit reluctant to put themselves forward for fear of appearing like pushy parents.
02 BE OPEN TO IDEAS
Make it clear to parents that you are always available to discuss ideas they might wish to put forward with regard to the running of your team or club. You might get the odd one that becomes a bit of a pest, but the benefits will outweigh the positives. If someone approaches you with a suggestion, try and get them to implement the idea by proposing you work together on the project.
03 FLATTER THE EXPERTS
It’s always difficult to get people to come to committee meetings but if you approach a parent who’s a financial whiz and say you really need help with club accounts, or someone who’s a chef and say you need assistance with the logistical side of the social committee, you can flatter people into getting more involved. And, because it’s something they know about and feel comfortable with, they will feel happier chipping in.
04 ASK THEM TO GIVE
Most clubs are looking to raise cash to spend on kit or facilities. Rather than asking parents to stump up again, see if they can give their time or their contacts. They might know someone willing to sponsor your team, or if you’re doing a sponsored bike ride say, rather than asking them to simply put their name down for a couple of quid, ask them to come along and take part in it.
05 GET SOCIABLE
Go the extra mile to get parents and family to come to any club social events, so they can really feel part of the club. In addition to inviting them to your club’s end of season awards though, how about arranging a BBQ just for your team? Encourage parents to come along to help you on the day itself – you can interact socially with them and you’ll have the time to encourage them to get involved.
06 MAKE IT FUN
Dish out fun awards for parents at a social event near the end of the season. Have an award for the noisiest parent and present them with a cheap megaphone; if you have a dad that regularly runs the line, present him with some comedy glasses; or if a mum often makes tea or cakes, buy her a cookbook. Make it fun and they will tell other parents what a good club it is.