Keep retired players engaged

Retired players are an essential resource for each association. Staying in contact with them increases the chances of retaining or re-recruiting them as volunteers, mentors or sponsors for your organisation. For a small sport like ultimate, each player who stops playing and is no longer involved in the club’s life is a hard loss. 

Even without an active membership, it is still possible to keep the community of retired players engaged, for instance, with newsletters or posts about the club life and stories of retired players. For example, regular alumni reunions organised by the club help keep the connection with the former members. 

All this makes it easier for retired players to support the association in other ways, from volunteering for simple tasks to becoming a trainer or taking a management position. 

It is not uncommon for athletes to leave the sport if the association cannot offer alternatives requiring less time commitment or fitness. As a club, you should consider having training and fun competitions for people who want to practise just on a recreational level. 

Having other disciplines in your club that members can practise, like Disc Golf or Double Disc Court, can facilitate those who enjoy throwing a disc but can no longer commit to playing ultimate. 

A survey run by the European Ultimate Federation on a sample of about 200 mixed players showed that there aren’t significant differences between genders when considering the reasons they would stop playing. Most of these active players see injury as the biggest reason for quitting. Incompatibility with family life has been found by all genders as the second most important reason, together with incompatibility with work life. It is important to note why people are retiring or leaving the team; this can help gain insight into the needs of players, some of which you  may be able to address by attending different tournaments etc 

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With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.