Grow Your Club: #1 Key is to Build Your Village


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Club directors are crazy busy preparing for the upcoming club season. Days can be quickly filled with submitting uniform orders, registering teams for tournaments, creating practice schedules and organizing coaches. This season, we added a third location to our Academy Family, making December even busier!

So how do I keep my head on straight amidsts the growth?
Surround yourself with talented, capable and passionate people.
Spend time throughout the year "Building your Village," so that you know that during these busy times, you don't have to do it all by yourself. Our club now includes three locations, over 1,000 athletes and 100 club teams... which breaks down to close to 3,000 jerseys arriving all at once! The only way we can keep up with everything and continue to run smoothly as we grow, is the outstanding team of people we have compiled.

Who Should Be Included in My Village?
Your Village can be comprised of a variety of people, including coaches, parents, volunteers and even players! They just have to be available and willing to help make your club a success. 

  • Reduce Club Dues: At The Academy, we have a great group of parents and players who help us sort uniforms and assemble player packs, in return for money off their club dues.
  • Pay Coaches Hourly: We also pay a couple of our coaches hourly to assist with some of our office projects, as all of the rosters, paperwork and registrations need to be entered before the tournament season begins in January! 
  • Outsource: We also occasionally outsource design projects to some local freelancers, to make sure we are staying on top of web and logo design needs.

Plan Ahead.
Make sure your team is ready for the busy season; build your village before you need it.

  • We have parents sign up for an email distribution list at any point during the year, so we have a good base of workers ready and willing to help when we need them.
  • We also recruit and train six or eight coaches and part-time staff members in the fall to help site direct tournaments.

By spending time finding and organizing these workers well before we need them, we are able to hit the ground running when the busy times strike.

"Building your Village" is a great way to manage the growth in your program, but also a way to help continue this growth. By keeping customer service levels high, remaining efficient and continuing to provide an excellent experience for your families, you can continue to grow and expand your reach. I've also found that these helpers become great advocates for your business and programs. Our coaches, parents and players help spread the word about all of the amazing things happening at the club, through social media and word of mouth.... making this a win-win.

For related reading for Club Directors click HERE. For more education for Club Directors click HERE.

About the Author

Emily is the Executive Director of The Academy Volleyball Club in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emily Hawthorne's coaching career began in 1999 at Hoosier Heartland Volleyball Club and as a student manager for Indiana University. Since then, she has accumulated more than 100 high school victories, started many successful youth programs, and been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) 30 Under Thirty list. She is now a serving member on the Junior Volleyball Association's Board of Directors.


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