When you think about recruiting efforts for your soccer club, you likely think about how to successfully attract new athletes.
However, the key could be figuring out ways to appeal to players’ parents. After all, parents are the ones who pay the fees, drive their kids to practices, support them at games, watch their development, and seek the best for their son or daughter.
If parents feel a strong connection to the club and are confident that their child is in a program he or she can succeed in, then the parent is likely to encourage his or her child to keep playing for the soccer club. But if the parent isn’t connected to the organization and isn’t pleased with the atmosphere or success rate, he or she could seek other clubs for their son or daughter.
Take a look at some ways you can enhance the relationship between your soccer club and your players’ parents to keep the athletes playing for your organization year after year.
Encourage Parents to Give Feedback
Parents trust your soccer club with their child’s well-being. Therefore, it’s important to let them voice their comments – both good and bad. Giving parents a way to provide feedback to the club administrators, director and coaches will help them feel like their opinion matters and that the club wants to hear from them. This creates a level of transparency between the parents and the organization, and lets the club keep a pulse on how parents are feeling about the direction of the organization.
Soccer clubs should also ensure parents have the contact information for key club personnel, including coaches and directors. This gives them a direct line of communication to reach out to with questions. Providing this information will help them feel that club admins want to hear from them.
Establish Healthy Coach-Parent Relationships
The coach is likely the person soccer players’ parents will interact with the most. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the parents and coaches have a good relationship to keep the families at your soccer club. One way to build trust is for coaches to explain their coaching philosophy about player expectations and playing time. This will help eliminate problems later if parents question their son or daughter’s game-time minutes or position. Opening lines of communication between coaches and parents can help strengthen their relationship.
Establish a Parent Code of Conduct
Parents should be aware of what types of behaviors and actions are expected of them by the soccer club. Presenting parents with a written Code of Conduct prior to the season – and having them sign it – can help eliminate confusion and tension later. This directly tells parents what their role is and what consequences they can expect. This can show parents the soccer organization cares about the families and values the need to reduce tensions and establish boundaries so the focus can be on the athletes — not off-the-field distractions.
Create a Parents Booster Club
Getting parents involved with the soccer club can help earn their loyalty and encourage them to keep their child within the organization long-term. One way to do this is to create a parents’ booster club. This lets parents help organize team activities – like group outings and fundraisers — to help increase team-bonding and support for the players. This will allow parents to engage with each other and take on a larger role within the soccer club.
Provide Volunteer Opportunities for Parents
Another way to get parents better integrated into your soccer club is to provide them with volunteer opportunities. Some activities can include assisting at practices, helping players warm up before games, running concession stands, bringing equipment to games and practices, and other tasks.
Hold Regular Parents Meetings
One of the best ways to keep parents connected to your soccer club — and encourage them to keep their son or daughter within the organization — is to hold regular meetings. This lets your organization discuss important details and events with parents, get their feedback, and establish open lines of communication. This helps parents feel more connected to the soccer club and lets them build relationships with the coaches, directors and other admins.
Send Timely Communications
One way to annoy parents is to leave them in the dark about important details related to the team and club events. To avoid this, soccer organizations should send regular communications to parents. This can be newsletters, emails from the coach or director, texts to inform them of last-minute schedule changes, and more.
TeamGenius is a youth soccer player evaluation mobile app and website to streamline player evaluations & development for youth soccer programs.