Many teams and club league administrators are volunteers who are also employed in full-time jobs. Their time to oversee the league is usually very limited. They must be efficient if they want to use their volunteer time wisely. Here are some ways for them to get more done in less time:
Pick out key volunteers and delegate tasks to them. Clearly explain the job you need done, set up a date or time to check back in for tweaks and feedback, and then let them run with it. Obviously, this means that administrators should choose people they can trust. Avoid micromanaging them; give them the freedom to do things their way if it works just as well.
2. Divide and Conquer.
Divide up the league into departments, such as PR/Fundraising, Operations & Equipment, Coaching Volunteers, and Administration; and put a manager over each department. The managers would be on the governing board of the league.
3. Trust Your Volunteers.
Departmentalizing responsibilities allows the league administrators to oversee without micromanaging every decision. This type of hands-off management empowers volunteers to make key decisions and gives them a sense of ownership in the league.
4. Keep a Sports Calendar.
Aside from the game schedule, sit down at the beginning of the year and plan out events, deadlines for jobs to be done, and any other duties that must be calendared. Be sure the calendar is visible to every person involved in the processes.
5. Plan Ahead.
Prepare league members in advance of the online registration dates. Be clear when online registration starts and ends and tell members how they can register online. Collect member email addresses and don’t hesitate to send email updates about registration dates.
Encourage early registration with incentives, such as a discounted fee. This is great for both parties: the registrant gets a discount and league administrators to get early registrants which means less stress as deadlines approach.
6. Spread the News.
Use your online organizational tool or website to post a bulletin board of daily news: big games, forms due, tryout information, ticket information, practice schedule, fundraising, place to leave messages for you. This will ward off a slew of questions from parents.
7. Set up a Website.
Look for an online management tool that allows you to set up an easy website. Don’t waste time on a fancy or outdated website. Use the website to post a detailed calendar of information like game times, team departures, dates for team pictures, and when play-off forms are due.
Be sure the website also shows contact information for each coach, fields and directions, camps and clinics, every form that a team parent will need, and a list of boosters.
Communicating information once usually does not do the trick. It’s always better to over-communicate. Parents get a lot of emails and messages and important information can easily get neglected.
Games will have to be rescheduled. This information should be shared quickly and, in a manner, or place where parents are trained to look. Actually, the more ways it’s communicated, the better. Use several methods to be sure to reach everyone: text messages, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and updates to the league website.
A youth league that communicates clearly and consistently will keep families coming back year after year.
At first glance, these tips may seem to be making more work for team and club administrators, not less. But the truth is that when these steps are done and done right, the end result is fewer problems with teams and parents and that means less time spend problem-solving for administrators.