Retention is a vital component when forming a strong and sustainable club. It will set the club up for future growth and success.
The first thing a club should do when considering retention actions is to run a club retention report through the club’s Footyweb dashboard. It will help identify any age groups that may have an issue.
This will provide a breakdown of the club’s retention rate and the details of players who did not return. It is a good idea to ask the players via a phone call, email or survey for reasons that they didn’t come back to the club.
Retention data should play an important part in planning for the following season and ensure the club continually improves their offerings to keep players and members engaged.
Set clear club values and expectations.
Strong, clear and appropriate club values provide all members and sponsors with understanding of what is expected when they are representing the club. It also gives members comfort in the behaviour standards they will experience throughout their time at the club.
Promote an inclusive club environment.
It is important that the club is welcoming and open to all, and reflects the local community. No one wants to feel like they don’t belong when they join a club. Consider things like:
- Advertising in different languages if the club is in a multicultural community
- Not serving alcohol on game days to be more family friendly
- Diversity in age, gender and culture on the club committee and volunteer workforce
- Program offerings to meet the needs of people with a disability and other considerations
Engage quality coaches
The coach is vital to a player’s experience and the club’s culture. It is important to appoint the right coach to the right team.
It may be beneficial to appoint a selection panel who are responsible for the coach appointment process. When appointing coaches, consider the following points:
- Coaching accreditation requirements
- Ability to attain Working with Children Check
- Values, vision and expectations of both the club and the coach
- Communication and leadership style
- Ability to provide and receive feedback from the club committee
Even if there is only one applicant – the club should do the due diligence to ensure the coach meets the club’s needs. If there are gaps, consider potential measures like extra training or development opportunities to ensure the coach delivers a positive experience for the players.
Make the club about more than just football
It’s not always the success on field that keeps players coming back! The club’s ability to provide social opportunities to harbour a strong comradery will ensure the players feel connected to the club. An enjoyable, safe, relevant and welcoming social scene can make a club more attractive and improve the club culture. Ideas include:
- Player dinner after training
- Charity events during the season
- Pre-season training camps
- Team outings during a bye round
- Off-season gatherings
- Club Busy-Bee days