Create a buddy system

Having experienced players act as buddies to new players can help with advice/motivation in a more personal way.There are many valid  approaches for a buddy system (different numbers of people in the system, their respective roles, etc.). The main goal of the buddy is to become  a trusted person that supports the new player in their development as an athlete and the club's social and organisational needs. 

Create a system where the newer players can select a buddy, or the coaches will assign the pairs. Provide buddies with some training and  access to resources and make sure they know how to follow protocol and appropriate methods of communication. When selecting buddies, be  aware of the cultural aspects as well as gender, age difference, place of origin, etc. 

While it is often advisable for young women to have another woman as a buddy, it might be an excellent option to cross genders in a mixed  setup. In any case, the buddy must be very conscious of gender equity aspects (i.e. mansplaining). Communicate with potential buddies to find  out what they are willing to do as part of the "buddy" role, and discuss the type of behaviours and actions expected when you become a buddy.  Another idea would be to have groups of three or four where buddies can hold each other accountable and create awareness for sensitive topics. 

The most important thing is to be clear that a buddy is not there to teach the basics of ultimate, but they are to act as a direct line from the new  player to the heart of your club. 

Organise meetings among buddies where they can share their experiences and get advice. Such a setup can help them work on their buddy  goals and could help them develop their teamwork and leadership skills. 

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