Teamwork is a key skill that your team coaches work on with the players. But you need to create a good team spirit off the field too, with communications between club officials and members.
1. Think about how you communicate currently with club officials, players and members. Make use of all the different opportunities you have, from the club website to the clubhouse noticeboard. For bigger clubs and for those playing on a range of facilities, consider whether a printed newsletter or ‘e-newsletter’ sent by email would work best.
2. Consider when you might want to communicate. You may want to update a website once a week to include results, standings and match reports, as well as general announcements. A newsletter, however, may need to be written once a month as these tend to include more general announcements and updates.
3. You need to decide where to distribute the information. For e-newsletters, you could collect email addresses of players and/or parents when they register in pre-season. Alternatively, you could task someone with collecting these during the season or perhaps at a parents’ evening. Printed newsletters could be left on display in a clubhouse, set out in the dressing room after a game or handed out by the Welfare Officer to parents on the sidelines. If you are considering sending emails to Under-18s, read The FA’s guidance here to ensure you’re following the latest safeguarding children advice.
4. Club officials will need to agree what to put in the updates. Team results and standings are important, announcements of forthcoming events or fundraisers, notifications of officials who have completed qualifications and calls for new volunteers should all be included.
5. Finally, check that your updates are working and you’re communicating what people want to know. You could try running a competition for a small prize in a newsletter to see what response you get or asking members how helpful the content is. You can’t force people to take an interest and read updates, but you are better placed to get members interested by providing them with regular information.