Young athletes drop out of sports for a variety of reasons. Below are just a few of the reasons we’ve heard after speaking with coaches and parents about the issue:
- Time clash with other activities e.g. study, social or work commitments,
- Over emphasis on winning by coaches or parents,
- There is sometimes high praise for top performers but little acknowledgement and support for others.
Some turnover is natural, however when an organization fails to establish a rapport with it’s athletes, the chances of them bolting increases. So to keep you from losing players, here are some tips on how you should engage them to keep them coming back each season.
Promote Open Communication Between Your League and its Players
One of the best ways to engage your players is to establish an open line of communication. Show them that you’re willing to talk and listen. Regardless of what the topic is, players appreciate it when their superiors show concern and care about what they have to say. An internal messaging system coupled with a discussion forum for them to openly ask questions are great ways to encourage more open communication.
Always Keep Them Informed
Whether it’s an upcoming event or a new initiative for the upcoming season, it’s crucial for you to make them aware of what’s happening since leaving them in the dark and surprising them will leave them disgruntled. One of the things you can do to disseminate information quickly is by using league management software that will help you post news updates online. By having your players sign up online they can get the latest updates from you and the league.
Create a Positive Environment
No matter what their skill level is, if the environment becomes toxic either on or off the field, players won’t look forward to coming back next year. Be sure to get rid of politicking and jealousy on your teams and instead, promote camaraderie, teamwork, and always stress the value of good work ethic.
Establish a Reward System
To keep your players motivated, make it a point to reward them whenever possible. Whether they won a crucial game or they simply just did well in practice, players will always remember how they were rewarded for their efforts. Don’t think these rewards need to be extravagant, or even have any monetary value. A personal message sent through your league website, or even a weekly “player of the week”, can go a long way.
These are but a few ways to encourage player participation in your league. Please use the comments below to share other ways that your league is engaging it’s players and keeping them coming back year after year.