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How To Start & Run Your Own Sports Team

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If you are anything like me when you were a kid, one of your dreams would be to own a huge sports club. As a child I grew up making fantasy sports leagues up, playing sports management video games, participating in sports pools and wishing one day to be able to wheel and deal real players and win real trophies. Well, today I have turned this dream into reality. I have a shelf full of hardware. If you would like to create and run your own amateur sports team, then you should follow this guide, and you will be on your way to run your own amateur sports team. Each and every city or region has hundreds of recreational sports teams participating in team sports. Maybe one day you can be champion's of your league like my team. (Click photo)

Steps

  1. Choose the sport you wish to participate in. Inexpensive team sports are the best options if you are on a tight budget. Soccer, ball hockey, basketball and beach volleyball all commonly have leagues in each city.
  2. Find a league that is at your level of play. Unless you are extremely experienced join a recreational league that has multiple divisions or levels, such as beginner, intermediate, and competitive/premier, 1, 2, 3, etc.. It is very important to play at your level. Additionally it is better to start a little lower because if you do well you can win the title then move up divisions.
  3. Find out your total team fees. This will be the sum of the league fees, plus equipment, uniforms, permits, etc. This will determine your team fees.
  4. Select your team name. Basing your team name around your region of habitat or culture or a professional team is common. (e.g. Let's say you are from Cambridge and your team is participating in soccer, you can name your team the Cambridge Kickers.)
  5. Select your players to be on the team. Hold try outs. Ask everyone you know who is interested in sports if they want to join your team. Additional sources of players could be friends, co-workers, and players you've played with in the past. To find new players place ads in online classifieds, especially Craigslist and kijiji filed under (your city > community > activity partners > your sport) You can also put ads up in local community centers, the town hall, and local businesses.
  6. Collect fees from players before the season begins. Normally amateur teams are non-profit, so if your team fees are $2000.00 and you have 10 players, each player should pay $200.00 per season.
  7. Create a chain of command A commonly-used structure is as follows: manager (you), coach (maybe you also), captain, co-captain, players.
  8. Have a team logo made. Based on your team name, have a friend who is good with web design make a logo for your team. You can also have your logo designed from an online company for less then $50.00 if you search around. Many logo sites have templates which don't cost much. Your logo should incorporate an image related to your sport and/or name. Make sure to add your logo to letterheads, web sites, blogs, posts and ads. When players looking for teams go through classifieds, they tend to think teams with a logo are a better fit than ones without one. (I have attached a sample logo of my team)
  9. Communicate with your players. Start a blog or a web site and make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of set-up, practicing, schedules, etc. You can also use the blog or web site to advertise your team, give advertising space to your sponsors, and recruit new players. (Here is a web site I created for my team: http://www.ScarBros.org/)

Tips

  • Keep a team schedule. Run practices at least once a week, ideally 2 to 3 days prior to game day. Hand out a schedule of all the games to be played in the season during pre-season.
  • Keep a mailing list and phone number list. Contact players one day prior to game day to confirm they will show up. Much of winning and losing in amateur sports has a lot to do with who shows up.
  • Selecting a captain is important. The person selected as captain should not always be the "best" player, ideally, it could be an above average player that is dedicated to the team, shows up on time and has a firm understanding of the game.
  • Try to get sponsors for your team. Often sports bars have sponsorship programs where they rebate money back to you team that you spend there. Local businesses might consider sponsoring your team if you help advertise for them during their games.
  • Plan team social events. Have a team night out occasionally at a pub or sports bar so players can become friends.
  • Look for other ways to raise funds for your team. Have a team fundraisers, BBQ, raffles, etc.
  • Remember your team's roots. Support your local culture, local businesses, and local people, and they will support you. For example, host your team's pizza night at the local pizza store.

Warnings

  • Joining a league or division that is too high can be hurt your team. Not only will you have a losing record, you can lose dejected players. Normally, even at the recreational level, teams in the higher division are very good. Start low and move up; it is more fun.
  • Keep track of the team money. If a player does not pay, don't let them play or else you'll be stuck with the entire bill. Some sports can become very costly, make sure you calculate your budget properly and that players fees cover everything.
  • Watch for ball hogs and attention-seekers. They won't pay, they'll try to run the show on the playing field and they'll often only create animosity amongst teammates. Remember, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
  • Make sure you have more than enough players. If you are short of players, you'll probably lose the game by default or because of fatigue. It is better to have a couple of extras. In amateur sports, participants often have work, vacation and personal scheduling conflicts that simply don't exist at the pro level.

Things You'll Need

  • Uniforms
  • Equipment
  • Rental Permits (if you need to practice in a public place)
  • Extra players

A living version of this document is available at:

http://www.wikihow.com/Run-Your-Own-Sports-Team

Resources:

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