Have a recruiting strategy

Set a SMART goal, create a plan to achieve it, reserve resources and keep the focus on your primary target.

As an organisation, you should have a strategy outlining how to recruit new players. You should also know your target demographic, such as an age group (U17, U20) or women/men matching players. Without an inflow of new players every year, your team will struggle to grow and develop.

The best way to make the most out of your recruitment efforts is to plan using the following tips:

  1. Start setting a S.M.A.R.T. objective (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound), like “recruit five new women by the beginning of the season”.

  2. You might want to define more specific details. For example, are you mainly targeting U15 girls, college students, or people eager to try a new sport?

  3. Think about what your association can offer. Why should a new player join you? Sell your sport and association in the best way with a clear message.

  4. How can you reach your target audience? Would you prefer to follow a marketing approach with a media campaign, posters and flyers, or a more personalised approach with recruiters actively reaching out to your target group?

  5. Do you have trained/capable/available people to make the most of your recruitment efforts? E.g. do you have enough coaches and role models (that identify as women) to go to school during PE classes?

  6. How do you finance the resources you need (material and human)?

  7. Once you are successful and new players come to your training, do you have the resources (people, time, space) to onboard new players and make them part of the team, so they continue?

  8. Support activities or milestones in between, like a prepared recruiting handbook or a webpage appealing to players of all gender, can be set as a short-term goal.

  9. Create space for recruiting and coaching opportunities. The training slots from a club can be defined by this focus

How to promote Ultimate:

  • Focus on the unique aspects of Ultimate, like Spirit of the Game, the unique atmosphere at tournaments or the Mixed division.

  • Make Gender Equity and Inclusivity a core part of your message.

  • Create specific recruiting events or allow new players at every/specific training. For example, plan a dedicated school program to form a school league.

  • Specific gender-oriented recruiting strategies will help you to reach the target group you want.

  • Educate your players on how to invite others to join practices and how to promote the sport

  • As a coach, you should keep new members with their friends to ease the first social barriers. Make sure that they also socialise with others, though. Adjust to the age group - make sure there is clear messaging.

  • When addressing people dropping out from other sports, there is often the advantage that they have already developed an understanding of team sport dynamics (e.g. spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, etc.). They need to learn specific Ultimate skills. Keeping a low initial commitment level is essential so that it is still possible for the player to play both sports for a while.

Referenced Case Studies

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