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:

  • Set a S.M.A.R.T. objective (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) for your recruitment activities, like “recruit five new women by the  beginning of the season”. 
    • 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? 
  • Define a list of benefits for new people to join, and how to communicate them. Why should a new player join you? Sell your sport and association in the best way with a clear message. 
  • Define how you can reach your target audience. Would you prefer to follow a marketing approach with a media campaign, posters and flyers or use a more personalised approach with recruiters actively reaching out to individual members of your target group? 
  • 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? 
  • How do you finance the resources you need (material and human)? 
  • 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 to be involved? 
  • Define support activities or milestones in between. For example, preparing a recruiting handbook or a webpage by a certain deadline and with specific content for your target group can be set as a short-term goal. 
  • 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 existence of 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. 
  • Develop specific recruiting strategies for 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, keep new members to train with their friends to ease the first social barriers. Make sure that they also socialise with others,  though. Adjust to the age group, and make sure there is clear messaging for all people involved. 
  • Whenever present, leverage an already developed understanding of  team sport dynamics (e.g. spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, etc.) that may come from other sports to help them feel they do not need to learn everything from scratch, but just the Ultimate-specific skills. 
  • Keep a low commitment level to begin with, so new players do not feel excessive pressure to commit their time when they are still learning the game. 
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