By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

How To Start A Youth Sports Club

Chris Idun
In this article we will discuss the key things to think about when starting a youth sports club.

Before you begin building any of the fundamentals of your youth sports club, you need to decide the reason and purpose of it. Ask yourself questions about what the organization will look like at the start and where it will be headed. What will define its success?  Why are you starting right now? What sport or sports are you planning on being involved with? What age categories will you want to provide sport for? What do you want it to be known for? What will be its values?

Having clear objectives for your youth sports club will make many of the future decisions easier to handle and point you in the right direction for progress. Once you've answered these key questions, you're ready to get started.

1. Define Your Policies

Navigating the legal, financial and administrative aspects of the organizations elements can be difficult. Depending on what markets you’ll be offering your services to, you’ll need to understand and establish clear procedures around safety, player welfare, discipline, tax, governance and many other important areas around the running and operating of a youth sports club. Spend time researching and reading around the specific hurdles in your region, set these out in writing in a club constitution for future members, staff and volunteers to access.

2. Research Your Sport and Area

Thorough research into the sport or sports your club will offer is a vital part of planning you sports clubs’ existence. Use market research to find out what competitors or affiliated organizations are in the local area and whether the space is there for your sports club to exist. Find out what aspects of those clubs are successful and what gaps and opportunities there are for your club to thrive.

Before you start, you’ll need to understand everything about your sport, which tournaments and leagues exist that you could be a part of, what the cost is to run the club in the area, and what organizations and authorities you’ll need to be a member of or register with. You may need specific licenses or permits, as well as the correct insurance to comply with all these regulations.

3. Sign Up With A Sports Management Platform

Running a youth sports club is a challenge at any level, whether you have 10’s or 1000’s of players you’ll need an organized way to manage finances, communicate with members, supervise staff, build schedules, develop methodology, and oversee player development.

There are many individual tools which can help speed up your administrative tasks and manage your organizations processes more efficiently. Having the ability to streamline all those tasks into one unified platform tailored to your organization will save time, provide a great experience to your members, help development coaches and players, and allow you to keep track of the financial health of your club. 360Player is a great tool to help you manage your club from the very start.

4. Recruit Staff

Whether your organization employs paid staff members or utilizes parent volunteers you’ll need the right people with the right attitude and skillset to perform not just the coaching but also the administrative tasks. Building a quality team is difficult, but those helpful individuals may already be known to you and ready to assist in whatever way possible, or they might be out there waiting to hear about the organization you’re looking to create.

Spend time finding people who share your passion for youth sports and can bring something to the table to help your success and grow. Budget out financial for them, aid their personal development with training and courses, and schedule their roles and responsibilities for the club's benefit.

5. Secure Funding

Understanding the financial implications of starting and running a sports club is imperative. There will be initial start-up costs before the club is launched that you’ll need to cover. After that, the day-to-day operations will also incur a cost. Create a business plan and budget for all the eventual costs the organization will need to cover and forecast ahead for growth as well as keeping some behind for unexpected issues that may arise.

Creating a financial plan will ensure your club is sustainable both in the short and long term. Factor in and negotiate potential sponsorships, fundraising campaigns, donations and membership fees and how they’ll impact the organization’s financial balance.

Don’t forget many youth sports clubs will be eligible for grants and funding from local and national government schemes if certain regulations are adhered to.

6. Discover Venues

No matter what your sport, you’ll need facilities to use for training, matches and events. Research where your closest suitable facilities are, the availability and cost of them and factor in possible growth in the future.

Will you be hiring a field and ports hall, or investing in building your own pitches and courts?

You may find other organizations willing to share facilities to lessen overheads or even be able to take advantage of free or shared spaces to run classes.

7. Plan Your Programs

Deciding what sort of programs and sessions your organization will run will depend on the size, age range and curriculum of your club.

Will you have teams that play matches in a league? How many times a week will each train? Will you offer services for all ability levels? What options will you have for disability sport?

Take note of the interests and needs of your prospective members, the demographics, popularity and resources you’ll have and need as well as referencing this against your organization’s mission statement and goals. You may choose to offer a small niche program which covers an untapped gap in the market or try and have an inclusive program available to all. Whatever you decide, your programs and the content will need to align.

Once you’ve decided this consider what coaching staff, you’ll need to cover every class you intend to provide and how that schedule will look. If you offer multiple services, how will you avoid conflicts in scheduling and manage your resources effectively?

8. Invest In Equipment

Every sport requires different spaces and resources. Some of the equipment you need to use may be large and have to be stored away while not in use, other pieces may be allocated to specific teams or staff members to take care of. Invest wisely in equipment, especially if it forms part of the safety and overall enjoyment of players.

Consider the number of participants your programs will have, the skill and age level of the players as well as the inclusivity, making sure there are options for all who you intend to be involved.

You may find you’re able to share resources will other clubs or find opportunities to negotiate great rates to hire them.

9. Join Leagues

Providing structured training and competition is an important area for your members. Look for leagues that fit the ability and age range in your local area, as well as tournaments and events further afield which may be opportunities for club tours.

Contact the league administrators to comprehend the information you’ll need to provide, the deadlines you’ll have to hit and all other registration requirements they have. Clearly communicating these regulations and fees to members is important so take the opportunity to attend league meetups prior to signing up where you can meet more of the teams involved and put across any questions you have to the organizers.

10. Recruit Players

For growth and expansion, you’ll need players who are dedicated to play and represent your organization.

Hosting tryouts, tasters or trial days can be a fantastic way to gauge support and interest in your organization, give you time to communicate directly with prospective parents and let players experience your club firsthand.

Promote your events on social media, websites and connect with schools and community organizations where you may find potential athletes to join.

Encourage all involved to spread the word about your new club, showcase its values, principles and philosophy to the biggest possible audience. Build a welcoming sports program and a positive learning environment from the get-go to encourage players to feel comfortable and on the right trajectory.

If you’ve considered all these elements and planned wisely, you’ll be in the perfect position to launch your youth sports club, but it doesn’t stop there!

Host a kick-off party or fundraising event to celebrate the hard work and commitment of your team so far in the journey and to welcome all members.

Now the foundations are in place, continually look to develop and engage your members. Evaluate all decisions you make, be adaptable to changing things that you identify as areas for improvement to make the club more sustainable and effective.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Get started today!

Send us a message if you want to get started with 360Player and streamline your club operations.
Book a meeting